Changing newsroom demand digital skills and writing craft

Changing newsroom demand digital skills and writing craft

In a fast-changing newsroom, the traditional journalistic skills of writing and editing need to be combined with digital skills of a web producer and video editor, according to Mandy Jenkins, a US-based social media consultant.

“The newsroom is fast changing and the traditional journalistic skills of writing and editing well have to be combined with digital skills of a web producer, video editor,” she said in a talk on the concept of participatory journalism here on Monday.

The event was jointly organised by the Karnataka Media Academy and the US Consulate.
Jenkins referred to the gradual death of print media in the West due to the onslaught of new forms of media but said India still had a long time before this phenomenon reached it.

She, however, cautioned the Indian media against ignoring new trends.

She said that in the US, participatory journalism was an emerging trend in journalism, where news organisations elicit the help of common citizens using social media.

As an example of participatory journalism, Jenkins highlighted the work of ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning non-profit investigative news organisation in the US.

Through an initiative called ‘Get Involved’, the organisation regularly asks for people’s tips and assistance while doing a news story. The website recently did a series of investigations on the phenomenon of unpaid internships where it asked interns and former interns for their inputs.

Giving another example, Jenkins spoke about a campaign carried out by The New York Times mainly through crowdsourcing called ‘Finding the Quiet City’.

A number of news organisations are using the concept of “explanator” where a story is given an in-depth touch with the help of infographics, social media and interactive tools.
According to Jenkins, even the phenomenon of citizen journalism was made possible by the social media.

She highlighted the importance of social media tools in a war zone like Gaza where videos and pictures put up by people at the site of the conflict were often the only information available.

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