I’d find it hard to be a journalist today.
Journalism is a fantastic career. I’ve got a BA in Journalism and played around in a role with the Rural Press for a wee while. Good journalists are inquisitive and energetic, and can be cynical and circumspect (which helps). Quite often, they’re eloquent writers who are passionate about communicating.
In other words, they like to be heard.
The reason I’d find it hard to be a journo, today? I don’t know if I could juggle the tug of social media with the demands of my media managers.
The world is changing for journalists.
In the traditional world of journalism, you get a story, write it up, submit to your editor, and if it’s good enough it’s published or broadcast. There’s a variety of means to distribute the news, and above all you always want to beat the competition.
But now we’ve got Twitter, right? It’s an instant broadcast medium. I’ve written on this blog before, that I’ve often received my newsbreaks on Twitter. Heck, people are taking it into their own hands now: this week Malcolm Turnbull announced his resignation on Twitter and Jim Carrey announced his divorce (not from Turnbull, but from Jenny McCarthey).
How do journalists feel about that?
Pretty darn frustrated and conflicted, is my guess.
How does it feel to sit on a ‘scoop’ while your story is edited, prepared for print or broadcast? You could easily share the news instantly on Twitter. But you have an obligation to your company, right? You need to follow their content model. Even if you have an online presence – say, an AdelaideNow – your story still takes more time to write up and post than a 140 character tweet.
This is just one of many issues facing journalism today – other vexing issues include paid/unpaid content, copyright, relevance and interactivity – all too complex for me to go into today! I don’t know what the answer is, but it seems to me that journalists need more forbearance and nouse than ever before.