Everywhere we look, we are flooded with media – radio, television, newspapers, magazines, online content. The buzz first started with newspapers, though. News now circulates in print, on television, and through online news websites. Newspapers were introduced in America at the closing of the 17th century after inspiration sparked from the British Empire who had been publishing news since 1665. However, they didn’t gain traction until the colonies started debating whether or not they should separate from England. At this time, newspapers became widespread with larger cities even producing multiple forms of print. People wanted to be informed and up to date with the latest intelligence. They really took off when the Revolutionary War broke out, however. People hungered for the latest updates about what was going on in the world around them. As evidence, “By the time the war ended in 1783, an estimated forty-three newspapers were operating” (Currents in Communications, 12). These companies only continued to grow in reach with the growing advancement of technology. New technology made it so both production and distribution became quicker and more efficient. Nonetheless, this new technology started to have an opposite effect. As technology progressed into the second half of the 20th century, newspapers saw a drop in readership. Many were forced to close because of the competition with expanding outlets for news. Newspaper businesses took the biggest hit in 2008 when the recession struck. The crashes in both the real-estate and auto industries took a toll on the advertisements newspapers profit off of. Though companies have struggled over the years there are still newspapers in print today, despite the online versions gaining more eyes.
Something news outlets see a lot of is convergence. Convergence is when several people, companies, or things come together from different angles to eventually meet. News does not always come from just one source. News is shared and viewed from different perspectives. It is everywhere. With convergence, news has seen the sharing of ideas and outlets. Many of the same reports are shown from differing angles on various websites and prints. Magazines are reporting, televised news stations are reporting, online websites are reporting, and newspapers are reporting. Each outlet has different audiences because each outlet reports differently and prioritizes different types of stories. However, all these sources converge to ensure viewers are informed on what’s out there. It is just the viewer’s decision on which channel or resource to tune to.
With the readers getting more involved, companies have risen the participation with us in what they publish. On the Baltimore Sun website, readers have the ability to comment and share articles. One can share it on Facebook and voice their opinion tweet about it, email it to someone specific, or comment right on the article’s page. The website is very user friendly, pleasing to the eye, and has tabs such as “Breaking News” and “Freddie Gray.” Therefore, showing the reader, “we have what you want to hear about, the big hitting stories, all easily accessible.” The Baltimore Sun also provides video content in the case one doesn’t want to read, rather listen. It is all about what is pleasing, fun, and gets the viewer interesting. These companies are thinking about the viewer more than they ever have before because they want our attention along with so many other competitors.