You will be assimilated
Let’s face it, traditional journalism is giving way to digital journalism. So if you hope to get a job as a journalist today, you must know how to tweet, post on Facebook, shoot digital photos and video and post them on to YouTube and Flickr. Reporters also need to understand the audience for each social media platform and how they use it.
In many ways, being a digital journalist is more demanding. For example, suppose you’re assigned to cover the annual teddy bear picnic (believe me, every reporter gets these cheesy assignments once in awhile), instead of just collecting quotes and info for a 12-inch story, you might also have to shoot video and stills, record digital audio, tweet live (pics and text) and post content to Facebook and your newspaper’s website.
When you get back to the newsroom, your job is to write the feature, post it and the photos to the website, edit and post your video clip, create a slide show using your photos and the digital audio….
You get the idea. Simply put, today’s digital journalist is telling stories in a variety of different media.
So what about all those traditional journalists? Can those old dogs learn these new tricks?
An article I read this week at Poynter.org gives the impression that it’s unlikely, describing the relationship between old and new as “toxic.” That print-versus-digital animosity is also evident in the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times.
But things are never so black and white and not all old dogs are digital stranglers. In my experience, many traditional journalists have led their newspapers into the digital age – even pushing the agenda when management hasn’t kept up. And if I could use myself as an example, my journalism career spans from paste-up to social media and I find new media fascinating because it offers many channels for telling stories and reaching audiences.
So to the journalists who abhor digital journalism, take the advice of the Borg, “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”
To learn more about digital journalism, enrol in the New Media Journalism Certificate program offered by Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies. Click here to register for a June 23 information session on the program.