Journalism has always been critically important in the mass distribution of news worldwide. The trade itself has shaped society through many generations but it now faces new challenges in the form of the internet and the increasing technological needs of worldwide consumers.
The Daily Mail, the biggest selling newspaper in the UK, sells 2.3 million newspapers every Saturday and has offices in London, Sydney, Bombay, New York and London. The figures from their website show that 108 million unique users view their online website every month and 1 in 4 internet hits every day are for the Daily Mail Online. This provides substantial evidence of the challenges and benefits that the journalism industry faces and will continue to face in the future.
Matt Lawton, chief sports reporter at the Daily Mail, visited us at Loughborough High School to tell us about the daily life of a news reporter. One thing that stood out for us was how much his job has changed due to technological advancements and the resulting pressures imposed on him by his “two masters”; both his newspaper and online readership. Lawton also spoke at length about the “infinite” and “expansive medium” that is the internet which has created an unprecedented immediacy for journalism and an audience thirsty for the latest news.
Travelling is also a large part of this job which for him is one of the highlights of his career, especially since he is due to travel to Rio this summer for the World Cup. This is all underpinned by what he described as the “beauty in journalism”- no specific degrees are required but with a strong head for communication and the ability to develop relationships you are on the right track for both success and enjoyment in the industry. This led to him talking about the Leveson inquiry and phone hacking therein to obtain ‘news stories’. Lawton denounced this method as “journalistic doping” and aired his frustration on how it has been “damaging” to the industry he works in.
It is no secret that nowadays it is extremely easy to get hold of news which can break in a matter of minutes thanks to twitter compared with the sixteen hour wait readers faced up to twenty years ago. So what does the future hold for journalists like Lawton? How much more can the industry change?