Following a journalist’s twitter account (@codybrown), I stumbled upon this commentary by Robert Thomson on what it is to be a ‘professional’ journalist in this digital age.
Quoting him – “Journalists have to be flexible, they have to understand that readers' lives have changed and that unless we are responsive to those changes, and tailor content for these new templates, journalists will have made themselves redundant.”
The advent of the so-called ‘citizen journalist’ and real time’ information sharing through online social networks like facebook, twitter challenges conventional journalists on speed of information sharing and on establishing a valuable (and real-time) dialogue to the audiences. So now that everyone can become the transmitter of news, and can be faster than how newspapers (even their online versions) publish their news, does this signal the end of the professional journalist?
It does not. – Robert Thomson says why and how we can make ourselves stand-out.
He explains that today’s journalists have the advantage, which is our knowledge of fundamentals: proper reporting & writing, copyediting, beat specialization & ethics. Though he emphasizes that practitioners should adapt to the digital age. And this is where, he mentions, journalists of today & tomorrow should invest. We need to be in a state of continuous learning – starting with the basics such as knowing how to do your own multimedia presentation, learning how to maximize tools such as facebook, twitter & linkedin, opening ourselves to new online trends and trying it out.
The technology is here (and ever growing) and it’s up to today’s journalist to maximize the use of these online tools.
Anyway, be sure to check out his article. A must read.