Educators told journalism moving from 'mass' to 'class' markets
Christy Mumford Jerding
NEW ORLEANS Journalism will move from "mass media" to "class media" in the 21st century, a longtime journalism educator and news executive said today at the AEJMC convention.
Félix Gutiérrez, senior vice president of The Freedom Forum and
executive director of the Pacific Coast Center, told members of the
AEJMC Minorities and Communication Division and the Scholastic Division
that their students will enter a profession that won't be defined by the
traditional model of mass communication: attracting the largest
audiences to the fewest print and broadcast outlets.
Instead, he said, "We will need to learn to navigate and use a 'class media' that
targets audience segments and allows access through multimedia.
"Diversity is the defining characteristic of both society and the media
for the 21st century: more diversity in society's groupings and more
diversity in media choices," Gutiérrez said. "It's not clear that any
single road ... can tell you the best way to travel."
Gutiérrez said many "givens" of journalism were falling by the wayside,
- Becoming a journalist by being hired by an organization that prints or
broadcasts information. With the Web and other media, anyone has access
to dissemination technology.
- Journalism standards set by a "white, male model." The standard is no
longer "who can best lose ... their identity, but who can maintain [it]
while [still] still learning the ways of those in power."
- Mass media being the key to media dominance and wealth. "The last
vestiges of the mass audience general circulation daily newspapers
and primetime network television continue to lose audiences, (even)
as people spend more and more time with the media."
- Clear lines of division between news and entertainment, advertising
and editorial, sales and marketing. "Entertainment programs now have
news formats ... editorial content is increasingly linked to advertising
goals, and online marketing is directly linked to sales."
- Respect for journalists. "Now, journalists are not only lower
esteemed, but also have been demystified."
- Clear steps from scholastic to professional journalism. "Now there's
no clear scholastic first step for everyone [and there are] many choices
and few signs of which way will take you where."
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