Journalism is a reflexive journal of society and an ongoing conversation about everything.
In the old days, all a journalist needed was great shorthand skills, pencil and paper and also a great ear. The old school reporter’s day would resemble something like this. Get up at the crack of dawn and consume mountains of coffee before walking into the newsroom of a print outlet.
Newspapers from all over the world would then be absorbed and the journalist would ring up their contacts for any tip offs on a new upcoming story. It was rare if someone wrote to them about a tip off and then off they went.
Hours spend researching in the library and endless minutes would be wasted traveling in between interviews but this was what news-gathering took in the early days. Also lots of cigarette butts when reporters were allowed to smoke in the newsroom.
Sounds very time consuming.
But thanks to technology, a journalist’s job is sped up but their skill set is very different today. Pencils are swapped for pens and paper is switched for Ipads.
News is in high demand and a reporter has to work quickly and efficiently to deliver. They have to work on the go and you can see many journalists pausing to type something while they are at a press conference.
Headlines are written to suit SEO friendly searches, twitter feeds and facebook newsfeeds. Short and simple headlines are the norm, not lengthy and fancy titles. As for producing a good story, a journalist needs to be able to provide multiple dimensions at a moment’s notice. For instance, a good audio recording of the interview, a publishable photograph and a well edited video.
Skills in content management are also required because a journalist today is expected to be multiskilled in all things communications related and online production.
Again, how come?
Newsrooms are getting smaller and there are a lot more stories to report on.
Editors already have a large influx of work coming in already and they are also going through tip offs send in by the public. They need assistance. Everyone communicates through email and social media because it is not only convenient but cost effective for them.
How Can You Prepare Yourself?
Pick up new skills frequently. For example, photojournalism has always been an important part of any writer’s set of tools. Beginning reporters are usually given a camera and sent on their way to cover the latest soft news piece when they first start out. Tumblr gives beginning writers the opportunity to easily add photos shot from their smartphones and digital cameras and upload them instantly onto a blog instead of waiting for an editor to approve.
Not only is journalism becoming multidimensional but so is society. Not everyone reads a whole web page; their eyes skim the content and so other forms of media are needed to keep them interested.
Anna Hicks is an online writer who focuses her writing on personal finance, business, and sometimes career. Anna’s normal writing topics include finance applications in business or even things as simple as family finance. You can find Anna on twitter or read more writing by Anna at her personal finance website, paidtwice.com
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Category: Personal Branding