Convergence Reporting: the multi-skilled journo.

13 Apr

I really like the idea of becoming a do-it-all journalist. I was never exactly good at team sports, and this has crossed over into my ‘professional’ life. While I value the input of others, in the end I usually end up doing what I was going to do in the first place. I like to be in charge, and hate it when people mess something up that I know I could have done a better job of.

Take my mother, whose love and support I adore, but whose cooking I can’t stand. That is why I have cooked the family’s dinner every night since I was 12. She was relegated to washing up duty, and I took over as chief chef. I’m digressing, back to the point.

Simply, I suffer from an illness I like to call ‘I-can-do-anything-you-can-do-better-drome’. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t for a second think that I am the best writer/photographer/camera-girl, in fact I know that I am clearly not any of those things, but I like to think I’m reasonably good at all these things. I don’t just want to be a print, online or broadcast journalist; I want to be all three, or at least have the ability to be.

With the ever changing media industry, and with smaller budgets and tighter time-frames the new-age journo has to be able to do many things to be employable now. We have to be able to write, take photos, know the basics of video plus tweet/blog/comment on our organisations website/facebook/twitter account.

Thankfully I’m from a generation who grew up with technology, so doing these things has become second nature for me. We each have our ‘online lives’ used to connect with people we may or may not know. Just last week I ‘tweeted’ an aussie music star and asked for 3 tickets to his sold out gig for my friends. He tweeted back and, voilà, my friend’s names are ‘on the door’.

I love the idea of going to an interview or event, armed with a video camera, SLR and notepad and produce a TV, print and online story out of it. While some would say this is craziness and un-workable, the advances in technology makes this concept entirely plausible. Editing pictures and video used to take hours, if not days, with the process including developing the film and manually sequencing the sections of film to make a story.

Now with digital technology, video can be live streamed to televisions, computers and phones. Photos are able to be geo-tagged, up-loaded in seconds and the equipment is so user friendly anyone can take a good photo. One person can now everything that 4 people would have to be employed to do 10 years ago.

So a note to the older journos out there, you may have the experience, but we have the skills and adaptability to make us invaluable. We’re coming. Hold onto your jobs.

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