Staff Column: The future of journalism

Pat Pearson

Futuristic idealists say print journalism is dying. They say newspapers and magazines have run their course and technology has taken the forefront of written media in today’s world. Say that is true, though what can be confirmed is the culture of journalism is changing. This is an issue media outlets and their readers should not fear but adapt to.

As for reporting, the market for clear and sharp writing about timely subjects will never disappear. However, the ways to obtain news is changing or has already changed. Those fretting over the demise of print journalism are likely already too late. Newspapers, as we now know them, will not remain the way they are today for long.

Established journalists who have worked for decades in print might fear the fading relevance of newspapers, but to be honest, that does not fuel innovation.

Rather than fearing digital storytelling, top newsroom managers should be encouraging their staff to tap into the potential of this change. These days people go on the Internet to connect with and learn about the world around them. They watch videos, find photos and all sorts of content. Newsrooms should adapt to this trend accordingly.

One way media outlets can do this is by empowering their readers. The way this can be done is by allowing their readers to interact with the content the publication produces.

This can be achieved in many ways: through polls, surveys, comment boxes, etc. An approach to empowering readers a news outlet might want to consider is to implement online forums where readers can discuss their ideas about a story in a chat room type of setting.

Multimedia storytelling, when done well, is captivating because it meshes genres in all sorts of media. When a reader enters a story online, such as stories published in high profile news outlets, we see so many different types of content connected to these stories. All sorts of different clicks, or routes readers can take to accessing all sorts of content relevant to the story.

Solid reporting and realistic storytelling is far from dead. Right now it is being reborn in newsrooms and taking a new shape. It is up to passionate journalists with an innovative eye to continue progressing the field, whether it is dying or not, to continue telling stories in creative and captivating ways.