Digital Journalist

ABC News expanded its team of digital reporters a week ago.  tvnewsday reports ABC announced “new assignments in Denver and Detroit and the addition of two digital reporters to the network’s coverage of the Obama administration and the economy.”

“Digital journalist” or “digital reporter” are valid descriptions of new journalists but the terms are also keywords greatly exploited on the Internet.  A regular search for the designation would push one from the concept ABC actually started years ago.

Mara Schiavocampo, a blossoming young digital journalist who began with ABC News Now, is written up by tvnewser as an example.  Schiavocampo offers her own course, listed at mediabistro, for digital reporters.

Job offers for digital journalists from work at home news reporting to traditional media searches for digital reporters proliferate with the buzz word effect.

The job search web site simply|hired is where average salaries for digital reporters is listed. simply|hired’s salary calculators and comparisons show how pay scales vary by market size.

Colin Mulvany produces a blog on “Mastering Multimedia.”  He writes about the web site “The Digital Journalist,” which is really about photo journalism.  However, Mulvany describes his evolution from still photographer to video journalist a TDJ.  Perhaps Mulvany’s journey offers insight into the process of changing a news organization to accommodate digital journalists.  He discusses having tricked out gear and being technologically prepared for a distribution model which failed to accommodate him.

Nikki Usher, a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication University of Southern California, writing for Knight Digital Media Center’s Online Journalism Review argues skills training for digital journalists blurs what news organizations must consider about new media.

I take a complete section from Usher’s post on OJR to demonstrate her position.

“Here are a few suggestions for journalists and their news organizations.

  1. Journalists need to understand how the Web and multimedia goals will work within their own organizations. News organizations need to clearly communicate how these Web goals will influence the work production cycle.
  2. Journalists at all levels of the news organization should believe that they can contribute to the multimedia vision of their organization. The future of the newsroom is also in your hands, and thinking like this forces journalists to think multi-dimensionally.
  3. Journalists are not alone in the newsroom. Even if journalists themselves cannot think about how to make their work relevant to multiplatform content, someone else in the news organization can. Most of your organizations have people on staff that can help you brainstorm, even if you can’t. Multimedia training is also about making new connections across your organization.
  4. Silos, departmental rivalries, and departments that don’t communicate with each other cannot exist if multimedia initiatives are to succeed.
  5. Journalists no longer control the distribution of the content they produce. This is a very scary thought for many journalists, but the reality is that once something is published (usually on Web sites), it belongs to the audience of readers and becomes part of a conversation about the news.
  6. Journalists need to rethink and reposition themselves the leader of this new conversation, which includes everyone from the traditional water cooler chat to bloggers.

Of all of these ways to think about multimedia in news organizations, perhaps the most important point to emphasize is that Web journalism means a journalism of conversation.”

Broadcast Newsroom Computing promised this post would deliver details of calendar and schedule synchronization and we will next week.  BNC delivers this information on transformation underway in newsrooms around the world because of its urgency.  So next week we’ll work to keep our promise of calendars and schedules barring “breaking news.”

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


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