What is the future of the journalist?

Where is journalism going these days? Is it spiraling away toward a forgettable existence or is it sitting near the top of the “Most Desired Jobs” list? The answer is somewhere in between the two, actually. Like most good things in life, journalism falls into a gray area. In fact, journalism rarely falls into a black and white category.

In the early days of journalism, we passed memories and traditions  down to our children through storytelling. We wrote books and turned them into newspapers and magazines read by a mass audience. We developed the Associate Press. We encouraged the rise of citizen journalism and independent bloggers though the internet and social media platforms – and we’re still doing that today. To all this I salute those who donned the pen and pad before me, for giving me the opportunity to continue their work and enhance journalism. Above is a list of things we have accomplished, but what’s in store for our future?

I believe we are going to see a continual shift in the way journalism is read and and produced. We introduced writing for the web, and we even have classes that teach us how to write for the web. Most journalists are bloggers first and some make their living off blogging. Even with such a radical shift in philosophy, we aren’t done changing what we do.

In the next few months, and years, I believe we will see more mobile apps that do more for the audience. The apps will have emphasize reading of articles and content over a mobile phone. Mobile phones are very sophisticated these days. Over 50% of smartphone users read content or get their news from their phone. We are seeing news organizations developing their content for mobile apps. Their .com sites are tailored for users on the go. Stories are easy to see and easy to read. This trend will continue.

Pretty soon, all news organizations are going to have a mobile site, a mobile app and content that is tailored specifically for these platforms. The newspapers will disappear until there are hardly any remaining. Everything is online  and digital in our society. That trend will continue and we have seen it begin already.

Freelance journalists are going to be in surplus as most journalists won’t have one specific employer, but rather multiple employers. The journalists will feed stories to different sites and different companies. So much of the writing we do is published across different platforms. Writers will need to be well versed in video, audio, photo and copy editing – we need to be ever diligent – the all-in-one journalist. To have a job, we need to be trained in all of these categories.

We need to seek out our own stories, and publish them across as many media platforms as possible. So much of today’s journalism is won and lost on the internet. We create multimedia packages that include video, still photos and writing.

The advanced multimedia class I enrolled in this semester is proof of our continual growth as journalists. I learned a lot from this class and I believe we covered exactly what a journalist needs to do to be successful. Journalism is a digital job, we have become techies, web designers, amateur photographers and experienced bloggers. The future will see a total transition to this philosophy in journalism. Newspapers are being phased out of our profession. We must transition away from the traditional way of thinking and become advanced web writers with video, photo and audio skills.

This is very much a fact and I want to be here to see it through.



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