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.”

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Having the ability to write a good story is no longer enough for journalists in the 21st century. Traveller.com.au 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.”

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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.

The art of live blogging // week 3

In case you missed the ever-present memo, the journalism industry is changing.

It no longer revolves solely around news stories and the inverted pyramid. With the evolution of journalism comes the art of live blogging. Live blogging allows for continuous updates on a current event to be published in the one place for an audience.

In a QUT online journalism lecture, Fairfax Queensland political editor Amy Remeikis said any topic now is open for a live blog. If this means I can  give a running commentary on every episode of The Bachelor Australia and call it work then I’m totally on board.

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Amy says the key to live blogging is to keep your readers updated every 15 – 20 mins at MAX. This ensures they stay interested in the content and don’t click off the page. You want to keep readers on your site for as long as possible because that’s what drives advertisements and keeps you in a job. As fun as live blogging seems, having cash money to pay the bills is better, so maybe write that tip down.

Amy’s live-blogging nuggets of wisdom:

For any potential future live-bloggers out there, here are some tips to follow.

  1. Don’t talk down to your readers! “Journalists often make this mistake,” says Amy. “We know now this doesn’t work.” It’s all about a real time conversation with your readers.
  2. Provide context. “Context is key in digital journalism,” says Amy. “If you can tell the reader why the information is important to them today, you have already lured them in.”
  3. Don’t assume. “It makes it easy to make mistakes if you haven’t considered that maybe your readers haven’t read anything about the topic yet,” says Amy. Add a quick summary to ensure readers know the important aspects of the story.
  4. Time code. If you’re recording the event in any capacity make sure to write down the specific time an important detail happened. You don’t want to have to listen to 4 hours of recordings just to find that one great quote you couldn’t quite remember. “Time coding saves me every single time,” says Amy.
  5. Be aware of your bias. “We write through our own perspective and people read through their own perspective,” says Amy. You need to be aware of your bias in order to counteract it. Despite the truckload of changes, journalism is still about giving a fair and balanced account.

Live blogging is fast becoming the norm for news reporting. Here are some tweets from journalists and news organisations promoting their live blogs on a range of topics.

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Slate live blogging “the Trump implosion” otherwise known as the second US Presidential Debate. Source: Twitter.

 

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New York Times writer Sarah Lyall promoting a Rio Olympics live blog. Source: Twitter
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Source: Twitter

So now you have these tips, what are you waiting for?

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Story telling via Facebook Live // week 2

It’s no secret that journalism is an ever-changing medium and journalists must learn to adapt. With the amount of new social media platforms available, I think journalists have been doing a reasonable job at familiarising themselves with these new mediums and finding ways to tell stories through them.

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One of the newest mediums is through Facebook’s live stream, which now lets users start a live broadcast which their Facebook friends can view. News media including The New York Times, Courier Mail, CNN and the Huffington Post have all jumped on the Facebook live streaming bandwagon.

If you’re unsure of what Facebook live is and want to know more, check out the video below!

The New York Times public editor Liz Spayd wrote an opinion piece on the newspaper’s use of Facebook Live. “I need no convincing that live, interactive video is  medium worth embracing,” says Liz. “If you’re not experimenting in the digital age, you won’t survive.

On the one hand Liz spoke of the potential live streaming brings to the world of storytelling. “These videos represent a potentially transformational form of journalism because they let stories unfold organically, live, and with the audience able to change the experience.”

However on the other, she questioned whether this new medium suits The New York Times’ journalistic style. “The newsroom has shown that innovation doesn’t have to equate with poor quality,” she says. “Too many [Facebook live streams] don’t live up to the journalistic quality one typically associates with The New York Times.”

America’s KXLY-TV reporter Melissa Luck talked about the advantages of Facebook Live in a Poynter Institute article. “The spontaneous nature of live video is really most of its allure,’ she said. “Also, it has given viewers a chance to interact directly with our reporters and anchors, and it has been beneficial for both sides of that video stream to have that interaction.”

In the video provided below for Reynolds Journalism Institute, Melissa said Facebook Live turned an ordinary day time story of a police ride along into a story with ‘such a great community benefit’.  “People were asking the trooper direct questions during the ride along, asking  questions that they wanted to know, not just what we think they should want to know,” she said.

Conversely, in another Poynter Institute article The Verge engagement editor Helen Havlak said there were some problems with the stream. “Our biggest issues right now are finding a strong enough Wi-Fi signal when out in the field, and increasing video quality,” Helen said. “We’d love to see support for other types of cameras with external microphones, and the ability to upload higher-resolution files.”

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Source: Twitter

In the same Reynolds Journalism Institute video as previously mentioned, Melissa said a strong Wi-Fi connection is important when news is being broadcast via Facebook Live. “I think people are a little bit forgiving of a signal dropping and those types of things, but how many times are they going to keep coming back if the signal keeps dropping.”

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The unconventional medium provided through Facebook’s live stream evidently divides opinions. While the quality and style of live streaming may not be quite up to scratch just yet, the opportunities available for journalists to connect with audiences and deliver stories in a fresh way gives hope to the industry.

About the Author

Hi there and welcome to my blog!

My name is Georgia and I am a 20-year-old law/journalism student at QUT. I’m just your average dog obsessed, Brisbane Broncos loving, tv show binge-watching girl with a desire to live in London. I’m currently counting down the days until the Gilmore Girls Revival hits Netflix.

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Georgia