These days, journalists must be as knowledgeable about social networking and Web streaming as crafting an effective lede and nut graf.
A story in the New York Times sums up how many journalism colleges are adapting to change, not only teaching students electronic media skills but also entrepreneurship, which they can put to use creating their own jobs in the next era of journalism.
Surprising to many, the article notes, a number of college journalism programs are seeing an increase in enrollment even as media companies are consolidating and laying off reporters, editors and others.
The attraction? Many young people continue to view journalism as an enterprising career in which they can share their ideas and tell stories through various media to make a difference in their communities. This growth trend includes the number of students taking journalism classes at LBCC as well as Oregon State University.
Meanwhile, journalism faculty are challenged to keep up with students who often are ahead of their instructors in using social networking and other technology. As the article notes:
“New media” doesn’t mean transplanting old media to a new medium; it requires a new vocabulary, a new relationship with the audience — a massive social network that now talks back — and, sometimes, a new set of expectations about objectivity and timeliness.
At stake is a generation of reporters, and the continued role of journalists as the eyes, ears and questioners for the public.
The changes are forcing colleges and universities to rethink what a journalism education should look like.
The days are past when journalism programs can be content to turn out new reporters, editors and photographers, notes Times media reporter Brian Stelter. The new media demands “all-platform journalists” adept at not only gathering information and crafting compelling stories, but also shooting and editing audio and video pieces.
(Photo credit: “Online newswire” by noodlepie, courtesy of Flickr.com)