The rapid growth of social media usage across Sri Lanka in the last five years has had an impact not just one people’s daily life, but also on businesses and journalism in the country. These changes are explored in a research paper, titled, Social Media as a new trend in Sri Lankan digital Journalism: A Surveillance, in the
Asian Social Science Journal. “ The research study particularly examines the parallel growth in digital journalism, and also emphasizes that the audience reach of social media is much higher than that of traditional media.
In an article on Digital Journalism, Mustafa Kassim, Founding Director of Roar.lk, explains that, in Sri Lanka, a growing internet audience has definitely acted as the catalyst in the growth of digital journalism, especially during the last two years. The media houses in Sri Lanka too are adapting to emerging digital journalism trends so that they can stay relevant and not fall behind competition. Much of the social media news outlets also focus on catering to a millennial audience via engaging and interesting content.
However, this does not mean that digital journalism does not have its fair share of challenges. One of the most impactful out of these would be the advertising prospects. An online platform could certainly be set up at a minimal cost, but it becomes rather impossible to grow as well as deliver high quality content without having a budget. Capital restrictions are not good for promotions and this is where most media startups would struggle. To make things even more challenging, discerned readers may not be impressed at all by adverts, which they may consider to be interrupting and unnecessary. Therefore maintaining the balance of monetizing on digital journalism while also providing high quality content with integrity, may pose a big challenge.