The rise of multi-skilled journos // week 4

The rise of online journalism brings immediacy to the reader. A story that traditionally would have taken a team of writers, editors, photographers and videographers can now be created by one multi-skilled journo.

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In a video from the Fairfax Collection a number of journalists provided insight into multi-skilled journalism.

Sydney Morning Herald Editor-in-Chief Darren Goodsir spoke about the importance of being multi-skilled in today’s journalism industry. “Multi-skilling is incredibly necessary,” he said. “I would never get a job now if I had the same skills that I had thirty years ago when I entered.”

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Al Jazeera journalists Femi Oke tweeting about multi skilled journalists. Source: Twitter

The Age Sports Writer Rohan Connolly said multimedia is a big aspect of online journalism. “You can’t escape the fact that with the rise of online journalism, multimedia and video, particularly, has to be a big part of what we do,” he said. “Video is just another strand of our job now. Yes I’m a print journalist but I’m not just confined to writing stories for a paper. I do blogs, I do videos, I do a lot of radio work.”

Rohan said prospective journalists need to be open to learning new skills. “I think particularly for people looking to get into journalism and the media, that’s probably the attitude you need to take,” he said. “Don’t really confine yourself to one particular stream because the chances are that at some stage there’s going to be a fairly healthy crossover.”

The good news is these skills are easily attainable for upcoming journos as their primary learning device is the phone in their pocket. Unlike in past decades for traditional print journos, young journalists now have the ability to learn video recording and photography skills via their phones. A story can be written, captured and posted online all via a smartphone in a matter of minutes.

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Source: Twitter

Canberra Times Digital Editor David McLennan said mobile phones are very important to today’s journalists. “These days a smartphone is becoming one of the key tools of a journalist,” he said. “It brings the immediacy to journalism. It means that we are so much more in touch at being able to get that information to our readers as quickly as possible.”


Having the ability to write a good story is no longer enough for journalists in the 21st century. Managing Editor Craig Platt said a well written piece is half the battle. “The big thing with digital media at the moment is, you can have the most wonderfully written piece in the world but if no one ever clicks on it to find out, because they didn’t think the headline was interesting or they didn’t think the thumb nail image was interesting, then you may as well have not written it,” he said.

In a Mashable article Austin American-Statesman Social Media Editor Robert Quigley said journalists need to have a combination of skills. “The most valuable journalist will know how to use social media tools, can edit and shoot video, can write a good headline, understands a little about html or programming or databases,” he said. “Ideally, he or she can write a great SEO-friendly headline and understands why that’s important, knows how to write a sharp blog post and understands the value in interaction with the community.”


Becoming multi-skilled will provide journalists with the tools they need to create successful stories for the online world.

Fairfax Canberra Bureau Online Political Editor Chris Hammer said his tip for young journalists is to become multi-skilled. “The more multi-skilled you are, the more employable you’re going to be,” he said.


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