Dr. John V. Pavlik,Chair, Dept. of Journalism and Media Studies Rutgers

 


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Journalists vigorously pursue the story. The quest for the story has been for many if not most reporters the essential challenge of their craft. If a reporter can uncover and tell a great story, she or he might win a Pulitzer Prize. A great story can make the front page of the newspaper. An exclusive can make the lead story on the nightly television newscast. It is the story that forms the foundation of modern American journalism.

It is also this focus upon, even obsession with, the story that is undermining the potential for the journalism industry to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. Journalists have as their mantra to ask questions. They question authority. They question assumptions. They ask the basic questions that go to the core of the matter. They have never been good at questioning the assumptions of their own enterprise, however.

As technology has evolved, virtually revolutionized modern life, journalists have only cautiously adapted what they do. Many reporters and editors have been reluctant to include links in their stories for fear that readers will navigate away from the news Web site, never to return.



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