For someone who has happily resisted social media, I have come to realize that in the world of journalism- this is just idiotic. From research to reaching out, these tools make life abundantly easier for an endeavoring journalist. It makes sense though that I would resist something that makes life easy because I like to make my life as difficult as possible, in every way possible, including: loosing things of value and/or necessity, skimming instructions, procrastinating, constantly driving on E, never checking my bank account, drinking too much, sleeping too much, never reading warning labels, never reading expiration dates, staying up to late thinking unreasonable thoughts, etc. But I don’t want to live this life of suffering anymore!
We are all aware of the shift in journalism education from having to focus on one skill to multiple. As journalism students we have heard that we need to familiarize ourselves with several media functions because of –what is that term again? Convergence. The first few semesters I thought to myself, “Well there are always exceptions and I will be that exception.” (I also I thought, “No need to get a flu shot. You’re exceptional!”) So finally after a lifetime of resistance, I have decided to accept reality and accept digital journalism.
Digital journalism is a gift and a curse. It is a way to promote ourselves for free at anytime. It allows for more opportunity professionally and creatively. It also gives us the ability for deeper involvement with our readers. It allows us to build a list of resourceful contacts. And it goes without saying another benefit is speed. A thought can be posted online almost as quickly as we think it. The downside, which contributed to my resistance, is how much more time is expected of us. This seems to be the downside of technology in the professional world in general. Since technology frees up some time, we then cram as much as possible plus more into that freed-up space until we all have high blood pressure and die at an early age.
Obviously this is my bias and I hope I prove myself wrong. I hope I can manage it all without having a stress-induced brain aneurism. So does digital journalism make life easier? Or does it just put unreasonable pressure on journalists to do more? I guess we will find out through the process, but there is no denying that is part of the gig now so we might as well get used to it. At least I’ve naturally put myself in stressful situations my whole life. It’s been great training for my career choice.