Journalism is changing: technologically, commercially, in the media, in the formats, in business models. So it is quite natural that the very role of journalists must be renewed and adapted to the unavoidable reality.
But first, we must understand what a journalist is and does:
Journalism is the profession of writing or communicating, formally employed by publications and broadcasters, for the benefit of a particular community of people. The writer or journalist is expected to use facts to describe events, ideas, or issues that are relevant to the public. Journalists (also known as news analysts, reporters, and correspondents) gather information, and broadcast it so we remain informed about local, state, national, and international events. They can also present their points of view on current issues and report on the actions of the government, public officials, corporate executives, interest groups, media houses, and those who hold social power or authority.
Now that we cleared things up, we can enumerate the new changes demanded by the job:
1- A journalist must know how to work for different media. He must be multi-skilled and master different languages.
It’ a matter of professional survival. If being an expert in a medium is an added value, it is also essencial that we can adapt to others, just in case we’re caught up in a company restructuring. Besides, that multitasking is very useful in this age of media convergence: a journalist with good radio skills can take the production of his newspapers podcast, or use his photographic qualities to illustrate the news in his station’s website.
2-A journalist is his own editor.
Calm down, i’m not promoting the newsroom anarchy. But editorial independence is needed in these times where the news is published immediately, as breaking news or via Twitter, calling for a faster response time. Staff cuts and new newsrooms organization -telework, for instance- promote that autonomy. But the weight of responsibility increases.
3-A journalist is a brand.
And his own product.If the job market is volatile, freelancing is an option (as it has always been). To value himself, a journalist must know how to sell his work: by creating off-work contents - blogs, photo galleries, slideshows, videos, flash experiments ,podcasts, etc. It is fundamental to have an entrepreneurial attitude, and know how to highlight his individuality. Personal marketing weighs in here, in the way your CV/Resume and portfolio and also the profile in social networks is presented. Besides, it becomes more easy for the audience to associate the work to the worker, which humanizes the professional and the company he works for. Proactivity is a characteristic that all good journalists must have, but is of utmost importance in a world that allows to create your own projects with low costs.
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