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La Pietra Dialogues On the World On-Line
Lucia Annunziata on 21st Century Journalism and Media
Nicole D´Alessio, NYU ´17
La Pietra Dialogues
November 26, 2013

Last night, special guest Lucia Annunziata reflected on lessons learned and significant transformations that have taken place over her forty-four years in professional journalism and media.

Annunziata has been in the industry long enough to see its technology and business model change drastically. For example, on June 1st, 1980, CNN launched the first 24-hour news channel, which had a major impact on how news was delivered. Though the 1992 bombing of Iraq may have made viewers feel part of a collective human experience with the ability to follow events as they happened, the images they received were did not present a complete picture. Because Annunziata was an on the ground reporter, she experienced the horrific human consequences of the war and a more complete picture of the story. On the ground journalism, Annunziata asserted, is an irreplaceable part of media reporting.

Technological advances have sped up the pace of the news industry and diversified the types of news outlets. The recent shift away from major networks and newspapers toward “specialty” channels and web-based news sources has transformed the journalism and media profession. Annunziata embraces this change and said it was a reason for founding Italy’s Huffington Post. Obtaining live news is achievable more than ever with the introduction of social media and live one-sentence news updates available at the tap of a finger. This might confuse the public about the modern definition of journalism. But social media, Annunciata says, does not create “citizen journalism, but citizens.” The difference between a quick tweeted fact and a newspaper article, she says, is that journalists are specially qualified to filter sources and to report the fullest picture of the situation. Annunciata advises young aspiring journalists to obtain deep understanding of a subject that cannot necessarily be taught in journalism school so they can accurately interpret news events.

Being a professional journalist is not without its difficulties. But Annunciata says to “be courageous, tell your story, and hold your ground.”

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