With any job we do we are expected to learn and use the new technology that is developed. Doctors use new technology to keep us healthy or are during procedures, as a result we are living longer. The advances made in the audio visual industries allow us to enjoy the way we watch tv/movies or the sounds we hear. Stylists, artists, teachers, airline companies, etc. have had to change with the times in order to keep up with the consumer and advance society as a whole.
So wouldn’t the same apply to the many ways we consume news about such industries? Is it fair to expect, in dynamic and multi-generational society, that the reporters be able to adapt to the forms available, having at the very least a working knowledge of the various channels? To both questions I say yes with a condition: it should apply to those coming into the field.
It’s unreasonable for our generation to expect that the reporter from a prior generation HAS to use any new media if for no other reason than the audience that they have cultivated enjoys reading the news in an actual newspaper. I sit in the middle of this electronic generational divide where I can see both sides of the argument. I still enjoy flipping through actual books, magazines, and the USA Today. Its a break from the daily hustle of my life. This may because of the generation before me.
On the flipside I can see the benefits of having everything stored on my iPad. It’s nice to tap through all the flash bites of information. Some great apps have been developed to allow me access to information I want 24 hours a day and store it in the “cloud.”
In all job functions there are some conventions that we carry into each generation while integrating new ideas. However, it seems as thought the era of social media is doing a hostile takeover of our ability to be a bit more reasonable and diverse.
Given the original article we are using as pretext was written in 2009, I thinks it’s important to consider how news outlets and reporters have moved forward in adapting to blogging and social media. Nearly all newsrooms have online formats, they download new stories in between newscasts, even Dave Courvoisier (who is really old school) is on Facebook. Jon Ralston (not so old school) tweets and blogs as do many of the reporters. So exactly what more could we ask for?
Author Robert Niles makes a great point about how this new age has changed his life: “I held up my iPhone and told the audience how I use it to check e-mail, read Tweets and monitor comments in every down moment I get, whether I be waiting to pick up the kids from school or in line at the grocery. True downtime is a scheduled luxury in the online publishing business.” Reporters are not in the publishing business and should not be expected to ask as such. They are allowed to report the news and go home. This is what allows for bloggers to have niche that is available to them and is a reason why publishers hire the Internet junkies we call social media experts.
When we stop forcing one on the other there is room for mutual exchange of information. I like the diversity of places and views in which stories are told and unfold. So leave the the old school journalists alone and let’s coexist on the Internet age together.