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May 11, 2011

“Change is inevitable. Change is hard. Change is good. Change is rarely recognized in time. Change is life.” I began my publication with this quotation of Jeff Jarvis and, with this quotation, I want to conclude it. These words, in fact, are a nice and concise summary of my whole research project. Change in journalism is still a confusing phenomenon. It is inevitable, as the Internet continues to broaden the way we can pass on information beyond our expectations. It is hard, because, as we have seen in this research, the print industry is heavily suffering the loss of revenue, sales and readers. However, change is also good, because it is life. The developments of journalism and the spread of the Internet have also created new opportunities for people to express themselves.

I am aware that, in this blog, I didn’t talk about the development of citizen journalism, which, in Italy as in the rest of the world, is one of the biggest, and most interesting, consequences of the advent of the Internet. But I preferred to focus on those problems Italian journalism is facing since the introduction of computers in newsrooms in the 1980s: the changes in newswriting, the loss of readers and the declining professional level of news content. I also focused on the developments of a new type of Italian journalist and the problems this new generation of aspiring professional is facing while approaching an obsolete and saturated market.

In the last chapter of my publication, I wanted to suggest that this so-called crisis of Italian journalism rather than being connected to an economic issue is connected to an ethical problem. Big newspaper and media companies lack independence in Italy. And this political and industrial intrusion in journalism is destroying its watchdog function and its quality. Italian journalism can really survive only if it shrugs off its shoulders the interference of politicians and industrialists who use the press to serve their own interests. Otherwise, newspapers will continue to lose readers.

I hope that, through my personal interviews with professional journalists such as Mauro Piccoli, Tana De Zulueta and Simone Cosimi, I could imprint some current impressions of the print industry on the changes of journalism while this phenomenon is still occurring. I think it will be very interesting to read these articles in ten years and see how the Internet, or some other still unknown technology, has changed the way professional journalists pass on information and communicate with their readers. Hopefully, in ten years, my articles about the rise of infotainment, the declining level of Italian culture, and conflicts of interests in newspaper ownership will be out of date. Hopefully, they will be considered historical accounts of a very gloomy period of the Italian printed press and new articles will be written to explain how journalism in Italy was able to reinvent itself.

Although this is the conclusion of my publication, I don’t feel like this is the end of my project. Journalism will keep changing as I long as I live and after I die. Therefore, my research and analysis will continue on this blog. As usual, comments and critiques are welcomed to improve my investigation and to propose different perspectives on the changing nature of journalism.

I hope I will see you on the web!

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