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.

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