In Andrew Rossi’s Page One: Inside the New York Times, Rossi highlights the struggle for traditional media such as the New York Times to adapt in this technologically focused age. James C. Foust’s book Online Journalism: Principles and Practices for the Web provides similar insight into the significant changes happening in journalism today. One unifying conclusion amongst both of these sources is that traditional media need to make some significant changes to keep up with the rapidly growing media sites that have emerged in this technological age. In my opinion, traditional media can survive and must survive in order to preserve the integrity of journalism. This analysis seeks to identify how traditional media will survive by adopting new technological practices, while still preserving two key characteristics of traditional media.

Credibility is one of the most important characteristics shared by traditional media. A lot of elements drive credibility, and it takes a long time for a news organization to gain the respect and trust it needs from its audience to earn this credibility. Over time, traditional media such as the New York Times has built a long-standing credibility for its organization. People recognize its credibility and actively look to it for answers, opinions and knowledge. While websites such as the Daily Kos, Newser, The Huffington Post and Gawker are all important and useful websites for retrieving news today, without credible traditional media such as the New York Times researching, reporting and utilizing sources many of these websites would cease to exist. As David Carr so aptly pointed out in Rossi’s film, without traditional media such as the New York Times researching and reporting a lot of these websites would have nothing to fill up their pages.

Identifying what is and is not news is another key characteristic of traditional media. In today’s information overload, many important and critical issues would get lost in this overload if traditional media did not exist to highlight these issues. There is so much going on around the world, and the Internet allows us to hear about it all. Part of the job traditional media has is to identify the most important news. To identify the news that not only affects the most people, but that each news organization deems the most important. As Rossi’s film documented, news organizations compile a group of senior editors to determine what issues are page one material. Most people understand that anything that is on page one is, according to that news organization, the most important news of the day. These news items usually get the most words and have a significant edge over inside items that can easily get lost in the newspaper. Similarly, magazine cover stories and the stories featured on your hometown news and radio stations reveal their opinions of the most important news of the day. In this way, traditional media shape the news as well as highlight news that might otherwise go unnoticed. Traditional media is still the go-to gatekeeper for news.

Until these two key journalistic characteristics become prevalent amongst online media, traditional media will continue to live on. Currently, the Internet is still too unreliable. In fact, the most reliable news on the web comes almost exclusively from the website presences of traditional media. Traditional media is on the right track. From websites to social media presences, they are slowly adapting to this new age. In James C. Foust’s book Online Journalism: Principles and Practices of News for the Web, Foust talks about how social media has become a tool from which journalistic organizations can not only promote their content, but also create audience involvement and become a resource for reporting. In addition, journalistic organizations can utilize user-generated content available all over the web at all hours of the day.

Overall, I think the New York Times has it right. As of now, I think the best way newspapers can keep up with this new technology is to utilize social media, continue to develop their websites, implement paywalls and offer online subscriptions and phone applications. In my opinion, smartphones are the key. They are growing more and more popular every day, and it will soon become necessary for all news organizations to adapt their content specifically for smartphone users.