The Profession of Journalism is at a major inflection point.
The days of students studying and declaring they are a “print” or “broadcast” journalist have come and gone.
Such all encompassing (and often presumptive titles) have been battered down by new forms of publishing where best of breed professionals are using multi-channel outlets to break news that include print, video and audio feeds.
One of the best media specialists I know, Chris Shipley, veteran Demo technology launch pad event producer is now completing a fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri devoted to the changes in the nature of journalism.
She’s blogging about some her findings at http://bubbleandblender.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/a-case-for-real-time-news-and-a-path-to-get-there.
Chris’ observations may be the most prescient i’ve ever read on the changing nature of journalism and her work dovetails firmly with what i’ve noticed recently on the top-ranked AM radio station, KFI in the Los Angeles.
For the last several years, KFI has been heavily invested in broadcasting nationally syndicated talk radio such as the Rush Limbaugh Show. But beginning about a two years ago KFI’s news department and program management staff may have undergone an awakening.The result of this has been a solid position in local news coverage.
Its news staff is most often out in the field, and it’s reporters are posting news on new media channels such as Twitter, KFI’s web site, blogs as well as real time reports from the field.
The most obvious specific example of this was a Southern California four-county winter 3013 manhunt for a rogue former Los Angeles police officer named Christopher Doner.
KFI’s coverage of Doner’s deadly rampage was a personal eye opener on the changing nature of news.The station’s news director marshalled his reporters to provide maximum coverage. As breaking news unfolded, the reporters were busy tweeting updates and broadcasting their reports.
Sitting at my computer on the distant edge of its story, I found myself listening to the station’s broadcasts and following its reporters on Twitter
KFI wasn’t alone. The Los Angeles Times’ news staff and other broadcast outlet reporters were also tweeting breaking updates.
Coverage of the Doner manhunt and final gun battle in Big Bear, CA, was the first time I witnessed the impact of multichannel journalism. It was a defining moment.
About one month later, terrorists exploded multiple bombs at the Boston Marathon. As a news consumer and veteran reporter, I turned my television on to a 24-hour news channel and logged on to Twitter to catch breaking updates.
All of this makes Shipley’s case that universities and college journalism programs need to make sure their students understand how to use today’s multiple consumer facing social media channels to tell stories.
I had secondary revelations as I was listened to the unfolding Doner manhunt and Boston bombings:1.the cost of fielding reporters with new technology is climbing.Tomorrow’s reporters will require advanced smart phones connected to reliable 4G networks and will probably need to carry the technological accoutrements needed to send text, audio and graphics files, from the field, rather than a bar top at the Canyon Inn, or a table at Starbucks.
But the academic underpinning for journalism students needs to change too.Students need to larn to write for character-limited media channels but still understand the need and use of traditional how to file updates from the field and how to write for Twitter, in addition to traditional long form journalism.
Hold the Soma, but,It really is a brave new world in Journalism---Jim Forbes on 02/09/2014.