“Digital Journalism”, “MultiMedia Journalism” and “Online Journalism” are some of the new qualifiers that attempt to define the profession in the changing world of media. All of the qualifiers are outdated. Even the term “New Media” is passe. How long does it take for “New Media” to become just Media? The time has come.
Same with journalism. Is there really a print of broadcast journalist out there who isn’t now required to attempt to present their stories in a multi-media format, even if that is just to also present them in an online of digital form?
It seems the qualifying word have less to do with defining journalism, but separating the requirements in a desperate attempt to hold on to the past. Even as newspapers die and television ratings crumble to next to nothing, journalists hold on to the words newspaper, television and magazine, like the Japanese soldiers hiding in caves still fighting WWII years after it was over (even they had to finally surrender to reality). There is a resistance, even a refusal, to accept that all journalists are “Digital, Online, MultiMedia Journalists”, or in a word, “Journalists.”
Internet requirements have always been a nuisance, extra work, for broadcast and print journalists. Even the term “blog” was understood to be something less than a “column” or a “report.” Not anymore. Even a “tweet” can have more power and a wider audience than a traditional written or broadcast “report.”
University Journalism Departments are also having a difficult time dealing with the convergence. Some of the most prestigious Journalism Schools in the country have been resistant and slow to changing their curriculum. Several Universities offer separate tracks for print, broadcast and multi-media. But with convergence, shouldn’t a print reporter know how to shoot and edit? Shouldn’t a broadcast reporter know AP style for his or her blog writing? Shouldn’t a multi-media journalist about both print and TV? All of those questions also converge into one – shouldn’t there be just one journalism class that teaches all skills?
I understand that there is some hypocrisy here, as this blog uses the now redundant title “Digital Journalists.” I will have to come up with a clever way to change that. At least I understand I have to change. Some don’t.