Media Distribution

It’s six-thirty in the morning, and you reach for the iPhone on your nightstand as you’re awoken by the shrill sound of your alarm clock. You see the New York Times’ latest breaking news notification on the home screen of your phone, and you decide to read it. As you head downstairs and turn on the television, you see the very same piece being presented by an NBC Morning News anchor. You walk out the door on your way to work and nearly trip over the daily newspaper, just delivered to your doorstep an hour before. In today’s hyperactive society, there are numerous outlets for public information to be distributed by various forms of media; whether formal or informal, citizen or journalist.

The advent of the Internet has allowed for a revolution in the way people receive and create media. Nearly of our traditional methods still exist: printed newspapers, magazines, and news broadcasts, for example. We as a society now have, however, a new kind of distribution that can be utilized by both the experienced journalist and the everyday individual: the digital realm. Social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook have allowed for an amazingly fast spread of information and news, giving people and companies the capability to reach nearly any part of the world in just seconds. These, coupled with the traditional website, have brought forth a new era in journalism and media.

For any budding journalist, however, the question still remains: “What would be the most relevant and effective outlet for my story?” The answer isn’t as simple as some may think: the best outlet and method of distribution for a news story is largely based upon its context. As Professor Jen Saffron of Grove City College explained, some forms of print require a story as much as a year in advance. If one has a subject that will be relevant in the long term, this is perfect. For many kinds of stories, however, time is of the essence. When a breaking news story needs to be released immediately, the journalist has to utilize a quicker form of media: something ideal for the Internet or a daily newspaper. In this sense, methods most certainly lend themselves to certain topics. One must choose their outlet based upon the nature of the topic and distribute accordingly: a website for last night’s debates, National Geographic for climate change.


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