The shape of news has changed. The old legacy news mediums can and are expected to interact. To create dynamic and entertaining collages of knowledge.
For a long time as a journalist you could (and were encouraged to) specialize—this is apparent in UAF Journalism’s recently retired catalog. You had a medium: you were a writer, you were a photojournalist, you were a broadcast journalist. You probably had some overlapping understanding of the skills required for each field, but you didn’t need them.
Now you do.
Today, the most important skill for journalists to develop is adaptability. Adaptability in both what and how they consume and produce information. Change is happening, quickly, and not just to journalism. Our collective perception of reality is at least partially filtered through tools that are changing and becoming sharper with very short turnover periods.
This opens a whole complicated web of job opportunities in the business of information sharing—which is
what journalism is, at its core. A much needed recycling of control is in effect, shuffling the power over information from legacy giants into the hands of the (digital literate) lay-reporter. The everyday observer. You. Us.
Successful journalists are adaptable. Successful journalists are entrepreneurs and freelancers. Successful journalists take risks. It’s more than just chasing the perfect story, it’s presenting it in a creative, intelligent way. As was said in Searchlights and Sunglasses, “To succeed, journalists can’t just be on the web; we must be of the web.”
The tools are available, and it is up to the individual to internalize them.