This article has been written by Rashmi Dewangan pursuing a Remote freelancing and profile building program from Skill Arbitrage.

This article has been edited and published by Shashwat Kaushik.


Freedom of the press gives individuals and organisations the right to express, publish, and share information and ideas. An individual can share ideas without fear of censorship or government interference. But defamation, hate speech and incitement to violence are not included in it. Free media uncovers the truth and shares the information that educates the public. Corruption and misuse of power  have been brought to light many times by journalists. A free press is required for citizens to criticise the government or expose any of its potential wrongdoings. But, for security purposes, the government is allowed to block the press from publishing about some issues. For example, the enemy of a country could gain an advantage by reading about military plans in the media, so the government has the right to prevent information related to plans and security.

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It is legal to post information after the event, but sometimes it causes problems for editors and publishers. In  New York Times Co. vs. United States (1971), the secret documents ‘Pentagon Papers’ were leaked by defence department employee Daniel Ellsberg, but the primary concern was whether the New York Times could publish them. The government tried to stop publishing because it would have hurt the government’s image. The court gave judgement in favour of the Times, which strengthened the freedom of the media.

According to RSF’s World Press Freedom Index 2023, Norway, Ireland, and Denmark occupied the top three positions and Vietnam, China, and North Korea were at the bottom of the list. Such an index is evaluated for 180 countries and territories and is published on World Press Freedom Day.

Role of technology in journalism

The evolution of digital technology has taken journalism to the next level. The growth of social media and the widespread use of camera phones have promoted free media and strengthened democracy. It brought information about public affairs closer to the people. Anyone can participate in giving and receiving news in any part of the world. People get the opportunity to participate in and report the news about politics, entertainment, sports, business, natural disasters, or wars via social media networks. It provides a platform to educate and inform the public about world affairs. 

Technology is changing every part of our society, but we must recognise that technology is creating problems as well as benefits. It requires new and urgent solutions to these problems. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. have become concerned about the spread of false content. They not only face litigation but also damage their reputation. It reduces their credibility, irritates advertisers, and potentially reduces their audience. Technology is not only transforming the working methods of journalists but also changing the way the government censors the media. “Impact of Technology on Journalism and the Production of News”  has covered all advanced technologies and helped to understand the technological changes. 

Digital revolution

The digital era has brought about a drastic change in traditional print media and journalism. It enables journalists to provide real-time updates. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter deliver breaking news faster than traditional methods. Traditional print is limited to text and static images; on the other hand, digital media uses videos, infographics, and interactive content. Digital platforms are beyond borders. For example, anyone can access the New York Times with just an internet connection.

Social media provides direct interaction between journalists and readers. Readers can give feedback on the news. Nowadays, data-driven journalism plays an important role and it keeps track of data essential for national conversation. On the other hand, there were some challenges to monetization, like ad-blockers and changing ad models, so the traditional media tended to digitise. Ethical and responsible reporting is a must on digital platforms. The BBC is the best example of ethical reporting. Currently, we use advanced technology like AI that takes journalism to another level. As an example, the Washington Post uses AI for automated storytelling and identifying data for complex articles about financial transactions. Several media outlets and insurance companies use drones empowered by AI to get images from difficult locations, which increases the efficiency of publishing news articles.

An interactive, computer-generated artificial environment called VR is extensively used in art, music, film, video games, and advertising. The New York Times also uses VR and has produced many films and documentaries with it. The Times introduced the Daily 360 series, which produces videos from different places. Similarly, AR (augmented reality) is a technology that uses information in the form of text, audio, and graphics integrated with real-world objects. Social media already uses AR in conjunction with VR. However, these two technologies are very costly, so smaller news agencies cannot adopt them.

Challenges associated with democratic society

The media is an essential part of a functional and healthy democracy. In journalism, accuracy, impartiality, and responsibility in their reporting are required to successfully overcome the challenges. Journalists have the right to freedom of speech and expression; however, they have faced a range of challenges, including threats, attacks, and harassment from government officials and politicians.

Citizens get information about political issues, government policies, and events through the media so that they can make decisions about their leaders and government. Public debate and discussion about political issues are conducted by the media, which represent a range of perspectives. The media should educate citizens about the democratic process and provide a variety of opinions and ideas through public debate. The media faces some challenges in a democratic society, which are as follows:

  • Sometimes the media spreads half information to the public due to partiality, which leads to distortion and imbalance of information. As a result, citizens show a lack of trust in the media.
  • Fake news easily spreads through social media, leading to confusion and misinformation among the public.
  • Editorial policies and media reporting can be affected because large organisations often own press corporations. They can focus on profit rather than public interest, which can lead to a lack of perspective.
  • Censorship works as a barrier to the flow of information. The government can use it to suppress disagreement, leading to a lack of transparency and accountability in the government. It limits the ability of the media to act as a watchdog.
  • The lack of female journalists is another important issue, which limits the diversity of perspectives and voices in the media.
  • Sometimes the media spreads some news about the accused person before the court judgement, which makes the person guilty in front of the public. This can affect the life of that person for a long time.

Social media and citizen journalism

Common people can report on the news about what is happening around them. It is called citizen journalism. It requires the ability to tell a good story. Citizen journalists use blogs, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, etc. for it. They convey their message through smartphones, laptops, tablets, voice recorders, and any other portable devices. Blogs and social media content help them establish their community of viewers. Citizen journalism is a faster way of spreading news. It encourages people to participate in ongoing events. Citizen journalists can work independently or with professional journalists. Live events or incidents, such as sports events or protests, can be captured using live broadcasting.

Cybersecurity and journalism

Every person who works digitally is at risk of cyberattacks, especially journalists. Government agencies and different kinds of organisations are particularly interested in the data kept safe by reporters. Journalists can take advantage of cybersecurity to protect their data. Digital cybersecurity should be as important as reporting on current events in journalism. Journalists’ data is more important when it is based on any investigation or exposure to something. The physical safety of journalists is at risk due to unprotected data. The situation is more dangerous when the government and other organisations are against them.

Government surveillance and privacy concerns

The governments of multiple countries are increasingly using spyware products to target journalists and media organisations, posing a severe threat to press freedom and freedom of expression. Spyware, a type of malicious software, can be installed on computers, smartphones, and other devices to monitor and collect sensitive information without the user’s knowledge or consent. This technology allows governments to engage in surveillance, track the movements and activities of journalists, and expose their sources and private communications.

By using spyware, governments can effectively silence critical voices and deter journalists from reporting on sensitive or controversial issues. This can lead to self-censorship, where journalists fear reprisal and choose not to publish information that could be damaging to the government or powerful individuals. The consequences of this are far-reaching, as it undermines the public’s right to know and stifles the free exchange of ideas and information, which are essential for a democratic society.

Governments may employ various methods to deploy spyware, including phishing attacks, drive-by downloads, and social engineering techniques. Once installed, spyware can grant unauthorised access to a device’s camera, microphone, and GPS location, enabling governments to monitor journalists’ activities, record conversations, and track their movements. This invasion of privacy not only compromises the safety and security of journalists but also chills freedom of expression and hampers investigative journalism.

Instances of government-sponsored spyware attacks against journalists have been documented in several countries. For example, in 2018, it was revealed that the Mexican government had used the Pegasus spyware, developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, to target journalists, human rights activists, and political opponents. Similarly, in 2020, the Hungarian government was accused of using Pegasus to spy on journalists and members of the opposition party. These cases, among others, have raised serious concerns about the misuse of spyware and its implications for press freedom and democracy.

To address this growing threat, there is an urgent need for governments to adopt strong regulations and safeguards to prevent the misuse of spyware. This includes implementing strict export controls on spyware technologies, ensuring transparency and accountability in the development and use of surveillance tools, and providing legal protections for journalists and media organisations. Additionally, technology companies must play their part by enhancing the security of their products and taking steps to prevent their software from being exploited for malicious purposes.

The future landscape

In the era of rapidly advancing technology, the impact of AI tools on journalism is undeniable. These intelligent systems are increasingly being utilised to automate various tasks traditionally performed by journalists, from news gathering and fact-checking to content creation and distribution. As a result, journalism finds itself at a pivotal turning point, facing both challenges and opportunities.

One key challenge posed by AI tools is the potential for job displacement. As AI systems become more sophisticated, they are increasingly capable of performing tasks that were once exclusively within the realm of human journalists. This automation can lead to job losses and decreased employment opportunities for journalists, particularly in areas such as data-driven reporting and routine news coverage.

However, AI tools also present significant opportunities for enhancing journalistic practices. By automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, AI can free up journalists to focus on more creative and strategic aspects of their work. AI-powered analytics can help journalists identify patterns and insights hidden within large datasets, enabling them to uncover important stories and provide deeper analysis. Additionally, AI can assist in verifying information, detecting fake news, and ensuring the accuracy and credibility of news content.

Furthermore, AI tools can enhance the reach and impact of journalism. By analysing audience data and preferences, AI can help journalists tailor their content to specific demographics and deliver personalised news experiences. This targeted approach can increase reader engagement, foster trust, and strengthen the connection between journalists and their audience.

To navigate this transformative landscape successfully, journalists must adapt and evolve their skills. They need to develop a solid understanding of AI technologies and how they can be harnessed to enhance their work. This includes acquiring skills in data analysis, machine learning, and natural language processing. Additionally, journalists must continue to uphold the core principles of journalistic ethics, ensuring that AI tools are used responsibly and with integrity.

AI-generated news is designed to automate some of the tasks more quickly and efficiently than traditional journalists perform. AI-generated news has a few key implications, like efficiency and automation, increased personalisation, new business models and ethical and societal implications.


Technology has brought a dramatic change in the field of journalism by making it possible to access news instantly for audiences. There are various examples where AI takes the place of reporters. The rapid growth of technology creates hopes for development in media. AI is not a substitute for human reporters; it can assist them with content creation. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are used to spread real-time news. Reporters use these platforms to collect data and report and they find that they can communicate better with their audience. Spyware and cyberattacks harm the personal data of journalists. They should follow some security tips like authentication, VPN, using the TOR browser and using strong passwords.



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