In the past few years, news consumption has changed, and the changes are the results of social media rise, where the majority of people no longer rely on the traditional medium such as newspapers, television, and radio to get their news. With the uptake of social media, traditional mediums are playing catch up but time is running out, it’s a matter of life or death. Talking about death, we saw some casualties within the media space where some media houses had to close shop because they can’t keep up with the changes.
With the current changes in Journalism, we see some trained journalists leaving the field in large numbers to look for greener pastures in other areas such as Marketing, Public Relations while some are going digital. Part of the reason that makes some of the journalists to jump ship is a lack of good salaries and favorable working environment. Former Journalist and Corporate Affairs Executive Ms. Gabi Mbele says some seasoned journalists leave the profession because of unfavorable payments of wages, while some can’t keep up with the evolution because space is leaning towards tech.
The majority of South African journalists are leaving journalism to Public Relations, the reason for the move it’s because PR space is doing reasonably well at the moment and they hope that they can better their lives and their families. It’s fair to say, PR days are numbered because corporate, artists, musicians and comedians they no longer need a PR personnel to communicate their messages, they can do it on their own (DIY) because social media provide that platform to communicate with their audiences and customers.
With the rise of Social Media, there is a new enemy that we need to fight, which is Fake News as we saw the rise and fall of companies such as UK Public Relations firm Bell Pottinger. Lastly, Cambridge Analytica alleged scandal of misusing Facebook data to help Donald Trump win 2016’s presidential elections. Having said all this the jury is still out, mainstream journalism needs to evolve to face new challenges or die.