The more things change, the more they stay the same

 

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Our discerning readers will vouch how KT has, time and again, kept its longstanding promise to change with the times.

By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)

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Published: Sun 23 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jun 2019, 6:24 PM

Thanks to the rapid advances in technology, things today are changing at their fastest pace ever. News is a never-ending cycle, but the internet has managed to squeeze in an entire eternity between the actual newsbreak and the time a newspaper reaches its audience. Whether it is a fire in a warehouse or a crash on a busy highway, a surge in the equity market, or an upset in a sporting event, the 'dynamic' digital media is now the platform of choice to break a news event.
Are newspapers, then, losing their mojo? This has been a question that has been asked - and largely left unanswered - ever since alternative platforms made themselves available. It was radio at first, then came the 24x7 TV news channels, and now the double barrel of online news and social media networks. But even as speed and spectacle remain the twin USPs of non-print news vehicles, they often tempt the platforms to forfeit the fundamental tenets of journalism viz. truth and accuracy, for which due-diligence (which takes time) is required.
The troika of fake news, alternative facts, and post-truths poses a new yet existential dilemma for the digital platform, with the credibility of social media hitting new lows with unfortunate regularity. And it isn't just social media that is to be blamed. Digital arms of credible traditional media are equal accessories in this crime. The need for speed and the compulsion to break a story first means that accountability and impartiality - even integrity - are at times ignored to accommodate agility. Also sacrificed at the altar of velocity is analysis and perspective.
Change is good but it is also tiring and constant change can make us go around in circles. In our rush to swipe and share, we miss the wood for the trees, the stories for the headlines, and the research for the rumours. Like when you're in a bullet train, the trees, the houses, the roads and the bridges are nothing but a blur of the sight. So is, often, the case with digital news. Just scanning the headlines and moving on to the next trending piece of content is fuelling an overload of information on the so-called dynamic platforms, so much so that fresh news sounds the same old. If you were to savour the view, you'd realise that it isn't the same tree or bridge or house - or story.
The answer to that longstanding question on the newspapers' mojo lies in the evolution of the art of storytelling. Today, when the once-mighty newspaper is no longer the primary means to break news, it is unquestionably evolving into a viewspaper, a means to present an assortment of curated news to a discerning audience and to offer engaging, entertaining and informative content in a decluttered environment. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek," said former US president Barack Obama.
Khaleej Times, the UAE's first English daily, has always paved the way for others to follow.
Our discerning readers will vouch how KT has, time and again, kept its longstanding promise to change with the times. We continue to do that today, too - the storytelling format of your KT is evolving. Today's front page offers a sneak peek into the changes we will be introducing to our presentation over the coming weeks. We'll reboot, revise, reset, and refresh our design templates to ensure that the reader experience remains superior while your KT continues to pack a punch when it comes to delivering content in the most engaging, stimulating, and thought-provoking way. At the same time, we assure you that our single-minded focus on you, the audience, and our commitment to upholding the virtues and values of journalism will never change. As always, we'll await your feedback on the changes.
- vicky@khaleejtimes.com
 



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