According to Verhulsdonck (125), one of the major breakthroughs of the emergence of internet is instant feedback among the users. This aspect has played a great role in the development of digital newspapers since readers quickly interact with the content writers as compared to their peers in the print newspapers. Though the two-way nature of interaction exposes the content writers to direct criticism, they have adapted to the criticism positively. Notably, most digital newspapers begin as bloggers which is a notorious ground of negative criticism and when they join the digital platforms, they are better equipped to handle the situation.
Nevertheless, the digital space also provides a healthy constructive criticism. The digital newspaper writers get used to regular reality checks from the online readers especially when they make errors or write about sensitive or contrasting points of view. The continuous streaming of the author-reader interaction makes the online writers more detached from their copy, increases flexibility in writing styles and makes them invest less emotionally while writing the story. Though journalists are expected to conduct a thorough background research on the content they intend to write, digital newspaper writers do not always get enough time for research.
The digital teams normally have access to the site all through and page lineups constantly change in relation to the trending topics. In fact, a news article that was captivating to the readers in the morning may be totally irrelevant in the afternoon and as Verhulsdonck (122) points out, maybe the reason for rampant irresponsible reporting in digital media; fake news and social media rumors, just to ensure that the digital newspaper appears higher in the search engine. While the basic principles of journalism do not change, the content writers in digital newspapers are required to have a strong sense of quality check and regularly filter the overload of information. Unfortunately, the rise of the digital newspaper has secluded people who are not tech savvy, especially the older generation.
This group of people still waits for the next day after events have occurred to read the print newspapers. Li (4) explains that they are also secluded from the interactive and highly engaging exchanges that are available in the digital platform making them get out of touch with the views of young people on different issues affecting the community. The situation will not get better for this older generation since the circulation of print newspaper is declining every day in the past decade. That means that only a handful of the older generation will access the print newspaper if the situation does not change and this will block the elderly from engaging with the world. Though the older generation loves their glossy and tangible newspaper experience, they will have to make efforts to understand the digital world to keep in touch with contemporary issues.
Nevertheless, the print newspapers are still relevant and have the advantage of infrastructure while the digital platform takes pride in power of speed and a dynamic multimedia presentation. While the print newspaper concentrates more on the text, the digital newspaper concentrates on creating engaging tools that make the reader glued to the content. Regardless of whether the engaging tool is a video or a slide show of images, the main aim of digital newspapers is to provide a full audio-visual experience to the reader (Verhulsdonck, 130). It is important for the digital journalists to plan and publish their contents in consideration of the packaging and aesthetics of the content. While the print journalists are knowledgeable of the events round the world, the digital ones are required to be conscious of the sentiments of the online community, a relatively different experience from the real-world-view.
In conclusion, the dynamic nature of the digital newspapers and their real-time access to the users requires the content writers to track the performance of their articles, check the traffic rankings and search engine results. Notably, the digital journalists have made a mark in the social media era which thrives on trending issues. The speed that the digital journalist posts their stories play a significant role just like the contents of the story. Therefore, while the digital newspaper plays the same role as the print newspaper, the content writers for digital newspapers are required to be extra careful to create a user-friendly engagement. The digital journalist is more conscious of the target reader’s mind and probably acts as an opinion moderator rather than an opinion generator. The dissemination of news in the modern century has become completely democratic and the digital newspaper provides the right platform for journalists to talk to the reader.