We live in tumultuous times for journalists. With traditional media shedding jobs and the proliferation of online news outlets, we are evidently in an era of transition.
As Bob Dylan wrote in 1964, “Your old order is rapidly fading/Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand/For the times they are-a changin’.” He was, of course, speaking specifically of the much bigger changes of the civil rights movement, but there is a certain timeless universality to the song’s message that undoubtedly applies to the current media landscape.
If this issue of Convergence has an overarching theme, a message that resounds throughout its pages, it’s that media criticism is as vital as ever in the digital age. The medium may change, but the need for a vigorous press is as important as ever.
This is why we chose Jennifer Berry’s story on the decline of print media and rise of online outlets as the cover story. It strikes the ideal balance between a sense of loss for the traditional newspaper and broadcast jobs that aren’t coming back and the wealth of opportunity posed by the Internet, whose inextricable link with our everyday lives will only increase with time.
On a similar note, a collaboration between Ali Amad and Malcolm Campbell focuses on the so-called “new media” – outlets that have seized the moment and had online success. The Young Turks and Rebel Media are two such examples on the political left and right, respectively. Though they agree on little else, both outlets can rightfully claim to have reached a mass audience with far fewer resources than traditional broadcasters.
Britnei Bilhete, our valued art director, has written a piece on the role of feminism in North American electoral politics and how we’ve seen it play out in the current Democratic nomination race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Should feminists vote for Clinton based on her gender alone, or does Sanders’s message of economic justice offer them more?
High praise is warranted for Lara King, our indefatigable faculty adviser. It goes without saying that we wouldn’t have been able to put this issue together without her continuous encouragement and guidance.