The Future of Journalism in the 21st Century


Posted Thu, Sep 25, 2014

Photo courtesy Suzanne Chandler

VIEW FROM ABOVE: “You can’t have as powerful reports without pictures or visual media.” Suzanne Chandler [Photo courtesy Suzanne Chandler]

DENVER – Suzanne Popovich Chandler is a broadcast and photojournalist who has been in journalism business for 30 years. She freelanced extensively for the ABC, NBC, and CBS networks including, 60 Minutes, America’s Most Wanted, Dateline and ESPN, and has been awarded numerous awards as a professional photographer.

According to Chandler, “Cost is the biggest reason why newspapers are closing. Craig’s list took away classified ad revenue, as you know, and recently the Chicago Sun fired all their photojournalists.

“My opinion is you can’t have as powerful reports without pictures or visual media so those newspapers that don’t embrace the importance of visuals, will find their audiences diminishing.

“Perhaps local small papers will stay in print so readers can keep the feel of the newsprint, but in general people are beginning to feel better about reading entire books online. Why not news stories as well? Kids are growing up with iPad’s in front of them not newsprint, so I see less and less newsprint and more online reports,” Chandler says.

As traditional newsrooms and editorial controls slowly vanish, the enforcers of journalistic standards are the audience.

“The audience – the public, has the power to make journalists earn their trust with accurate reporting. Period,” Chandler says. “Newspapers need to adapt and use the versatility of the Internet and social media and adhere to SPJ code of ethics and earn the public’s trust in a new medium. Good storytelling is what is important. Without ad revenue, papers need to jump with all they have to multimedia, accurate online reporting. The profession of journalism will survive as we report across platforms including the use of all social media technologies.”

Photo courtesy Suzanne Chandler

VERSATILITY: Award-winning photographer Suzanne Chandler has freelanced for 60 Minutes, America’s Most Wanted, Dateline and ESPN. [Photo courtesy Suzanne Chandler]

Today, colleges and universities offer variety of degree programs in print journalism, yet the question remains, if colleges should continue teaching programs in print concentration, since online journalism it taking over the world.

“They need to offer degrees and teach the importance of converging journalism.
“They need to have print be a part of the program, but if print is all they are teaching, I believe they are doing a disservice to the students. Students will always need to know how to write well. They will always need to know how to interview objectively. They will always need to know how to research a subject and look for a variety of viewpoints and if there is an agenda in the interview, but we can’t stop with only teaching print standards,” she explains.

“For students to actually get jobs they have to know a variety of skills, multimedia skills. They need to know how to write for print and online, and they need to know how to make videos for the web. They need to know how to shoot good pictures for the web and if there is a print publication, they need to know how to write accurate reports that are interesting.”

With the growing popularity of the Internet, gone are the days of print-only or TV-only newsrooms. Media companies no longer have to wait for the evening broadcast or tomorrow’s edition to report the news.

“The key for aspiring journalists is to be versatile and have a variety of multimedia reporting skills whether you work at newspaper, magazine radio or a TV station,” Chandler says.

For more information on Suzanne Popovich Chandler’s work, visit

About Irma Laliashvili

Irma Laliashvili is an aspiring journalist, blogger and journalism student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Follow Irma on Twitter or Instagram at @irmalaliashvili

View all posts by Irma Laliashvili

4 Responses to “The Future of Journalism in the 21st Century”

  1. Nancy Layne Says:

    Irma I love your story, I think you did a very good job of explaining the dilemma journalists in the 21st century are facing as more and more people are utilizing the internet for news. Suzanne Chandler sounds like a fabulous person and I agree with her supporting colleges and universities in continuing educating students on convergent journalism.


  2. Emily Says:

    Great job Irma! It’s great story and gives great information on things that journalists need to be aware of.


  3. Aaron Lambert Says:

    Very cool story! I totally agree with everything Suzanne said about modern-day journalism. What a cool experience to be able to talk with a seasoned veteran such as her! Great job!


  4. Kelsey Hammond Says:

    This was a great and informative profile. I really enjoyed learning about her and her thoughts on the future.


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