Multimodality — The future of journalism?
In a time when social media seems to dictate many elements of modern life, is it important for journalists and news platforms to have their own accounts? Throughout this blog I shall be sharing my experience of using different platforms, and looking at whether multimodality is the future of journalism.
In order to understand multimodality and why it has become such an important aspect of journalism in recent years- we need to understand what multimodality is. Combining different modes as a way to tell your story, for example utilising text, images, audio, videos is multimodal. Multimodality is seen in everything, with many newspapers moving to online there has been a great increase in using both text and videos in articles.
Since Instagram’s creation in 2010 it has amassed around one billion users. Making it one of the most influential tools in the world. Originally created purely as a photo sharing platform, Instagram over the years has added a plethora of different features that have made it the app we know today. Instagram’s popularity was a key reason in why I felt I should share my blogs and articles on the social media app.
Some of the recent features added by Instagram have made it easier to publish new content. This new features include:
IGTV- With Instagram TV you can now post clips longer then a minute, meaning that many news and journalism accounts have started posting more in depth stories.
Highlights- The addition of 24 hour stories to Instagram created a more informal way to post, but now these stories can be kept and added to highlights on your main profile. A great way to keep old stories and information, without posting them.
Sharing of others posts- Now you can interact with other accounts by sharing their posts onto your own stories, creating a web of interconnected accounts.
Interaction of Stories- There have been numerous interactive tools added to stories which makes it easier for news and journalism pages to interact with their readers. For example, the addition of polls allows for pages to post content and gain how the readers view or feel about the post.
Hashtags- Now, along with following accounts, users can follow certain hashtags- meaning they can keep up to date with the information, and posts that they find most interesting. For example, #politics.
Instagram possess a list of benefits for journalists and news services; as it allows news to be presented in a more informal, approachable way. For many people they use Social Media more then they watch the news. Therefore, moving towards Social Media platforms news and journalism becomes more accessible.
Instagram and most of Social Media’s users are aged 16–35, often this age range is out of touch with the news. So, news providers and journalists moving to Instagram makes them more in touch with this demographic. Using visuals is a more approachable way of presenting the news- it allows readers to connect to the text semiotic awareness.
I have found using Instagram to be a beneficial tool when writing blogs, and actively being involved in journalism. This is because it is a tool that allows me to share stories easily, and be more interactive. It has also enabled me to promote my own blogs easier, make my account more personalised and interact with similar accounts.
On my Instagram account I have been able to use interactive features like polls, and have received direct messages in response to some of my posts. Along with this, I have added previous stories from my archive onto a highlight on my page.
Is Multimodality the future of Journalism?
As we move even more online, and in a world where online has become the new normal. Multimodality looks to be the future of journalism. The move away from traditional newspapers took place a few years ago, and now it appears we are moving towards social media being the main source of news. Currently, short videos accompanied by a short amount of text are popular for presenting the news online. A new popular way to find out about the news, has been through the Social Media app Snapchat; this has became popular as you can subscribe to the accounts that you are interested in and the videos are short- around ten seconds. Combining modes, images, videos, text and audio allows for a larger audience. This is one of the benefits of multimodality, and moving towards social media. Mike Vorhaus writing for Forbes, revealed that ‘Instagram news consumers were 11% of the social media population. Twitter was statistically tied at 12%.’ We can evidently see the shift is happening rapidly.
As much as multimodality appears to be the future of journalism. it now seems that multimodal forms of journalism are already the most popular way to read the news and information. For me this has been key when writing blogs and exploring journalism.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. What are your thoughts on multimodality? Do you read the news on Social Media?