Are we trying to resurrect a dying race?

By ‘race’ I mean Journalism and by ‘we’, I mean us – the students, teaching staff and journalists who seem to be clinging to the notion that we’re not dead, we’re just different.

As I write this post, I feel as though I am slightly contradicting myself. Am I a part of the change or am I trying to withstand the change?

I still read newspapers, buy magazines, consume TV news like nobodies business but the fact that when I am consuming these mediums I am probably paying more attention to my phone, is well, slightly alarming… I thought this post was fitting to start the blog, seeing as though all i’ve heard about since I commenced my degree three years ago was how it’s hilariously inevitable that i’m probably never going to get a job and even if I did I wouldn’t be able to rub two pennies together. Fantastic, I know – but yet I have persevered and I am ridiculously happy I have. Yesterday we got to speak to Conal Hanna – he’s the Head of Audience and Digital Strategy at Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and his responses really got me thinking about this question…

Are we actually becoming a part of something bigger?

I was brought to contemplate this, after the question seemed to be posed to Hanna various times. Are we going to get jobs? How are we going to get jobs? Please tell us what on earth it is we have to do to prove we’re worthy… It is no lie that in this day and age online is everything and social media matters more than ever. Gone are the days where people are making the special trip to the corner shop to get their daily news hot off the printing press, the news is now in our hot little hands 24/7. This is something Hanna re-visited time and time again in his responses.

Now is the time for innovation, difference and creativity – to do something that sets us a part from the rest while also giving the audience the feeling that they NEED to stop looking at their friends new kitten on Facebook and read the piece we just spent the last 4 minutes and 32 seconds slaving over. A statistic Hanna discussed within the forum which really sparked my interest was that the new media brands emerging in the US were driving traffic via 70% social media. Now this is a statistic to think about… how on earth does something that didn’t exist five years ago determine the rise or die of an industry? It’s true… social media is in fact running our lives. It’s a sad yet exciting common ideal. In fact, as I was googling the social media driven campaign run by the Sunshine Coast Daily that successfully lead our politicians to establish change in the Domestic Violence phenomenon, I stumbled upon an article which proves the point better than ever. “From Journo to blogging queen… by accident”. The headline says it all but seriously take a read for yourself… it is definitely an accident I could live with. An accident, maybe, but it is something that we need to embrace more than ever. The online realm is creating opportunities for story tellers like never before. It’s not killing our futures, it’s creating them. As Mark Furler, the group digital editor for APN Australian Regional Media says…

Today’s journalists are in the unique position to make a difference, with the help of online and social media… there are no limits.

Until next time blogettes’.

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