Coveney’s lucky strike

In the midst of the trials and tribulations of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his lack-lustre performance on Morning Ireland, the role of Simon Coveney in focussing the media spotlight on the issue has been glossed over.
Following his tweet criticising the Taoiseach’s interview, Simon Coveney was feted by a variety of media outlets in a manner which suggested he had stratigically “outed” the country’s leader. However, an examination of Simon Coveney’s Twitter account suggests that this strategic hit could probably best be described as a lucky strike.
The drunk-or-hungover tweet was only the fourteenth issued in five months by the Cork TD, having first opened his Twitter account on April 2nd, 2010. One might be safe to assume that Simon Coveney was prompted by the huge success being enjoyed by his fellow Cork parliamentarian, Senator Dan Boyle. Coveney has struggled to embrace the medium to any significant extent, even tweeting on September 7th, “I’ve been offline on twitter for a while”.
If Simon Coveney hand’t really embraced Twitter before his lucky strike, he now has an opportunity to capitalise on it’s usefullness. As the Cork TD tweeted his opinion about the Taoiseach’s radio peforrmance, he had just over 150 followers; he now enjoys over 1,500 followers – not bad for a lucky strike!


Journalism skill set remains the same

Image of digital graphics Journalism is still about the core skills, despite the importance of digital media and converging newsrooms.

A recent survey on the impact of digital media on journalism reported that only 14% of some 770 journalists surveyed across 22 countries said that their publications have no digital formats whatsoever.

This increasing role of digital channels in newsrooms means that not only are journalists under more pressure, but that they must be increasingly flexible about what they do. Some have suggested that the demands of converging newsrooms mean that the skill set of those who produce the news must be radically different to those of their predecessors.
Certainly, today’s journalists must be able to handle the technologies available to them and they must be aware of the format in which their content will be consumed. They must also be able to maximise the opportunities now available to them to increase the value of their output.

However, the fundamental skills of journalism, in identifying a news angle, presenting the core of the story simply, knowing how to usefully progress a story, etc., will always be of greater importance than any digital skills. Some articles such as this one from Not on the Wires, continue to remind us of the essential aspects of the profession which distinguish it as such. It will always be possible for a good journalism to learn to work well with the technologies; it is not always possible that someone who is a technological wizard can become a good journalist.

The good news is that, according to the Oriella Digital Media survey, almost half of the journalists they spoke to found that working with digital media improved the quality of their output.