What's the future of journalism given the hacking scandal, and the rise and rise of blogs? Omar Shahid and Rizwan Syed find out.
As aspiring journalists it is hard for us to see the name of journalism tainted amid all the phone hacking scandals and other rogue activities taking place within the newspaper industry.
One of the reasons we want to become journalists is because of its long tradition as a noble and respectable profession.
There has been a profound role reversal in the industry: instead of newspapers reporting and exposing misdemeanours, the misdemeanours of the newspapers are being divulged.
Indeed, now that The Sun and the Sunday Times too have been implicated in the muck, Murdoch's seemingly indestructible dynasty appears shaken.
The closure of the News of the World newspaper after News International's eavesdropping into: the voicemail of murder victim Milly Dowler; the mobile phones of the families of 7/7 victims; the phones of the parents of the Soham murder victims and others, could be the start of irreparable damage done to the Murdoch empire.
Tom Standage, Digital Editor at The Economist recently held a Twitter discussion called 'What is the Future of News?' which we participated in.
When we asked him what the consequences of the phone-hacking scandal will be upon the future of journalism, Tom Standage cited positive consequences.
'It [phone hacking scandal] will strengthen it [journalism] by increasing pressure on journalists to be transparent about sourcing and methods.'
In the age of unmediated blogging and micro blogging where everybody seems to be an 'expert' on news and current affairs, traditional media is being threatened. Highly opinionated work seems to be replacing factual work.
Standage was then asked about the blogosphere's threat to factual journalism and skew towards opinion. He argued that although blogs had become more widespread, mainstream factual media had also become more widespread - in effect, counteracting the
consequences of the growing opinionated blogosphere.
'Yes, much more opinion around (blogs) and more facts (WikiLeaks, data.gov). But also more news than ever.'
'Americans can watch Al Jazeera, Australians can read the New York Times. Both provide real news.'
Blogs and opinions work to spread news across the world, informing the public more than ever.
Opinion threads were also touched upon by Tom Standage: 'Comment threads, at their best, also act as a communal convergence on the truth.'
Here we see how comment threads promote a 'democratisation' of public opinion about the news.
A large part of the journalism industry appears increasingly lazy with old-fashioned investigative journalism looking redundant.
Whistle blowing websites like Wikileaks - although under threat from the U.S government - have changed the way investigative journalism works.
The time when spending months digging for leads to unearth great stories now seems to be ending and is being replaced with journalists sitting in front of computer screens and choosing what they want.
The tabloids currently lead the broadsheets in terms of sales. But which newspapers will come out on top after this hacking saga?
Indeed, with the decline in newspaper sales year on year, one has to question whether there will be such an industry in years to come, especially with an emerging digital youth.
Alex Westchester, Senior News Editor at Mary Ann Liebert Inc. and Genetic Engineering News, commented on the consequences of the digitalisation of the media and its effects on young journalists in the Twitter discussion.
'I fear digitalisation will lower salaries, making it harder for my son to make a living in the news business as I have.'
In the words of journalist Will Self, there seems to be a 'tectonic shift' taking place within our culture.
The full ramifications of this tectonic shift - although yet to completely established - will mean that the journalism industry us aspiring journalists end up in will have a completely new face.
Omar Shahid & Rizwan Syed
This article first appeared on Live Magazine
Follow Omar Shahid on Twitter: www.twitter.com/omar_shahid