It is interesting watching the unwinding of top down journalism. The first casualty was one of the players already on the ropes – newspapers. Newspapers have been around for more than 200 years. Ever since the printing press, news sheets became a staple of the modern world. But as they grew into mega businesses, they forgot about their primary mission – to provide truth. Newspapers forgot what they were supposed to be doing. Yes radio and TV, and now the net have taken away audience – but many times the audience left because newspapers were too busy selling a version of the truth. Too bad.
But a few newspapers might make it. Some are beginning to move to an online strategy. They are hiring bloggers and TV people as well as reporters. They are hiring tech guys to do the tech. They get it. The world is online. Here’s a great hopeful article by a former TV reporter, turned VJ for a newspaper web site. So, maybe after a decade of denial some newspapers might save themselves before it is too late.
But now TV journalism is headed down the same road of destruction. They are waking up to the fact that newspapers and others can do video now! TV is not the only game in town anymore. Who knew? Viewfinder BLUES knew and he’s telling it like it is.
And journalism/media teachers need to keep up. We can’t just teach the inverted pyramid anymore. That is so old school. Today, we must teach how to write for different media, different audiences, breaking news, video, long form stories, photo captions for slide shows and more. We must prepare our students for the real world out there where a journalist will be expected to do more than one thing. The days of just writing, just shooting video, just being a reporter are over.
We have to get them ready from day one to be a self starter and a life long learner. The technology just changes too fast. You have to keep up, sharpen your skills and try new things.
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