Transition in journalism & digital safety

By Lune van der Meulen

The Internet and the digital revolution changed the work of journalists tremendously. When a journalist would write an article on a certain politician, company or foundation, he or she had to spend hours of work going through archives just to find some background information. Now we can just enter a search in Google.

At the turn of the 21st century, journalist and media companies had high expectations of all the advantages that would come along with new technologies. Newsrooms innovated; those innovations were to a large extent innovated by economic considerations (Tameling & Broersma, 2013).

These days, journalists and media companies are becoming more and more aware of the disadvantages that came along with the digital revolution, especially when it comes to safety and privacy. This only recently became a matter of concern. In response to this, The New York Times hired Runa Sandvik last year, a digital safety expert and a previous hacker. She teaches journalists to arm themselves digitally, and to help them protect their sources. At the beginning of last year, Sanvik’s job wasn’t even a thing, but now she has one of the most important roles at The New York Times.

In order to be better journalists, and to keep our sources safe, it is in my opinion extremely important to learn from hackers and digital safety experts. Therefore I would argue that Dutch newspapers and television stations follow the example of the New York Times as soon as possible.


  • Tameling, Klaske, Broersma, Marcel. “De-converging the newsroom: strategies for newsroom change and their influence on journalism practice.” Gazette 25.1 (2013): 19-34. Print.

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