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Journalism Essay

INTRODUCTION

Information gathering and storage has evolved a lot, especially because of the advancement in information technology in the last few decades. The range and depth of information available and the ease with which it can be retrieved has rendered most of the traditional information storage practices ineffective currently. The role of the internet in information processing has become so large that it is now described as ‘the virtual world.’ One of the areas in which many changes have been demonstrated in this aspect is the mapping of spaces and locations, which was previously done manually, but is now done remotely using mobile devices that have internet connectivity. The term ‘locative art’ is becoming increasingly common as the practice gains more recognition and usage, and it refers to the use of technology to accurately locate or map certain aspects on a map. Due to this technology, a journalist sitting in one place can effectively monitor the movement of aspects on a map with accuracy that was not available before. Visual representations of data on a background of a map of the world give a better summary of a given aspect than the traditionally documented system.

Technology has been put to great use in information gathering and dissemination. Much of what used to be done manually is now handled electronically, which not only makes it easier and more effective but also reaches many people in a short time. The phenomenal use of technology by then U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Barrack Obama to raise funds is a demonstration of the power of technology in influencing human events. Additionally, some people have used the internet to hold protests (Fusco n.p). Currently, the social media platforms are the most powerful way of expressing public opinion. One of the most positive developments of technology is that it has made it possible for media houses to focus on the world of what is being described as the globalization of news. The mobile phone is the most transformative device in information gathering. This is because of its convenience and the fact that it is carried around by the owners. A large percentage of in the information available about war zones is now in terms of digitally drawn maps showing the location and frequency of certain aspect, and not the traditional writings, videos or photographs that were used sometime back. This is considered revolutionary because not only is the information gathering process made easy, but also because it yield more accurate and reliable data. Furthermore, information technology has changed the focus from focusing on a small area to focusing on a global audience.

However, the idea of globalization is slightly older than the internet. The Eurocentric period when countries were only interested in their affairs has been replaced by globalization, which preceded the internet (Fusco n.p). It is now common to have any institutions that are concerned with information gathering, storage, and distribution focusing on the world and not smaller areas as was the case previously. Such institutions include media houses, Universities, Governments, United Nations bodies such as the World Health Organization and many others. The limitations of space are no longer a hindrance to one getting a representative image of what is happening in the world. For example, in cases of natural disasters, migration of large populations or changing weather patterns, a clear artistic representation can be done using technological devices in the exact locations of these events, which gives the most accurate and timely information.

Furthermore, changes to the pattern can be easily monitored, enabling one to make predictions and timely interventions. This is the scientific solution to  barriers such as geographical or security concerns (Aceti, Iverson, and Sheller 10). Currently, it is common to see more maps in war zones than videos and pictures. Fusco states that it is maps now dominate any news from war zones in American media (n.p). While it is partly due to the banning of the use of live videos and real pictures from war zones, it is also because of the convenience of the mapping technology in covering wars, which gives a more representative view of the war zone. In fact, it is common to have news reporters accompanying troops to the war zone.

GPS mapping enables researchers and artists to monitor the movement of remote itens of interest every minute. This means the map keeps changing, making interpretation of the progress of the war timely and accurate. Mobility is one of the most common characteristics of human beings, and technology has made it possible for analysis of mobility to be used to study behaviors of groups of human beings or animals. Aceti, Iverson, and Sheller argue that mobility is now one of the most useful sources of information for both scientists and artists (183). Furthermore, technology is making it possible to correct some of the information that has been difficult to authenticate for a long time.

Some adventurers and cartographers have used GPS mapping to track their journeys across large sections of areas that they are exploring, making very accurate maps. The technology has also been used to track migratory farmers in fields, making it possible to understand the patterns for the first time. Also, scientists have tracked animals on land and in water remotely using this technology, yielding hitherto unknown information about the behavior of these animals (Southern 21). In fact, many studies are going on to discover the full range of the uses to which this technology can be put. There are suggestions that in future, it will be possible to conduct exercises such as census and consumer pattern monitoring without having to step out of the office.

CONCLUSION

Technological advancement has transformed the way information gathering and sharing is done. The use of mobile devices to track people and monitor their patterns is becoming the most effective tools for monitoring people and learning their behaviors. This has transformed the way research is done and documented in the world. It is also becoming increasingly evident that research and information gathering is becoming more complex due to restrictions placed by some regimes in areas of conflict. The use of locative art and mobile tracking will greatly help in making it possible for researchers to get information without having their staff on the ground. Furthermore, not only is the use of technology convenient and cost-effective, but it is enabling the researchers to come up with more accurate details and even correcting some of the earlier wrong perceptions, which is the most important use of technology. As advancements are made in information technology, it will be possible to get very accurate data on the world.

Works Cited

Aceti, Lanfranco, Hana Iverson, and Mimi Sheller. L.A. Re.Play: Mobile Network Culture in

Placemaking. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 21.1(2016).

Fusco, Coco. Questioning the Frame. 16 December 2004. Web. 11 December 2016.

Southern, Jen. Locative Awareness: A Mobilities Approach to Locative Art.

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