The year is 2013. Although we don’t have hover cars we do have the World Wide Web. To suggest that a journalist can survive in their original state of news gathering and reporting is laughable. Times are changing, and journalists need to keep up to ensure they still have a relevant role in the world. A print newspaper no longer satisfies the 21st century reader. We want to be able to tweet the reporter our opinion within minutes of reading. Journalism is evolving, and the journalist must evolve with it.
I understand for the older more experienced journalist changing what you know and have always done isn’t going to be an overnight transformation. All I’m suggesting is an open mind with a willingness to learn. I can see established print journalists thinking they have made their success from one product why try anything else. Unfortunately, they will perish like the typewriter if they think in these archaic ways. I’ve heard older people exclaim they don’t understand technology and never will. Like old school journalists they are lacking the acceptance or will. All they need to do is try and they can be connected to people across the globe within minutes. How can they say that is not a fantastic thing, and an avenue that needs to be explored! Don’t believe me that journalists use twitter, look at the staff directory twitter for the NY Times. I think a social media presence is already a requirement in many newsrooms.
Social media and bloggingmay be a timely commitment to a journalist initially but just like any skill once you have acquired it, it is yours for the picking. Social media allows readers to connect with journalists and have a completely new relationship. In previous years the only reader involvement might have been a letter to the editor, but now social media allows anyone to pass judgment and comment directly to the reporter. Formal barriers have disappeared. I imagine this makes some journalists a little afraid as they are more vulnerable to the public’s bite, but if you are passionate enough about what you write it should not matter what Bob from Texas thinks about your work. Also a good writer is always going to have some opposition, writing should ignite a spark in the reader positive or negative.
Digital media is only going to keep evolving. I’m not expecting a journalist to be able to multi task at every facet of technology, but a basic foundation of knowledge wouldn’t hurt. Additionally, it will keep them competitive in the job market something every occupation in today’s economy needs to be focused on.
Here is an article you may find interesting if you agree (or disagree) with my argument.