A demanding public requires that journalists constantly learn new skills.
Two leading Sydney journalists, Sky News‘s Jacinta Tynan and 2GB presenter Chris Smith, say the digital age challenges journalists to keep up with technology.
“Gone are the days of the 6 o’clock news and gone are the days of one newspaper being the only source of news. It’s available all the time now,” Tynan told The Newsroom.
Online news is on the rise. Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, give the public opportunity to “break a story” before news organisations.
Tynan said emerging journalists were expected to be familiar with social media and be multi-skilled.
“Jobs are harder to come by,” she said. “You’ve got to be able to write, edit and produce. VJs (video journalists) shoot their own stuff, they edit their own videos, write their own stuff … It’s very much hands on, doing all of it.”
News is produced at a faster pace, she said. “You used to file a story at the end of the day and you used to have one story and now you file all the time for online.”
But, Tynan said not everyone had adapted to the new structure.
“Senior journalists are catching on … they have to, but there would still be a few around that would still be adapting to that 24-hour news,” she said.
“Those who won’t adapt, they don’t last because you have to now.”
Long-time broadcaster Smith agreed with Tynan that new journalists needed multi-skilling and speed, “old deadlines have been replaced by the need to report on stories 5 or 6 times a day,” he said.
He warned that while blogs and social media were more opinionated, new journalists had to learn to leave their opinion out of the news.
“I see a tendency by newcomers to over-analyse issues and miss deadlines,” he said.
“Analysis can occur and will, but you are a reporter first, and a commentator second.” – Bianca Mureddu
Photo from www.jacintatynan.com.