Digital Journalism Skills in Demand
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Published on April 10, 2016
The digital journalism skills needed in the modern newsroom are illustrated by changes taking place at the largest cable news network, CNN. The news network is investing $20 million into their digital news products, while making cuts in traditional journalism such as news broadcasting. The new investment is focused on three areas: digital video, expanding their reach to more mobile users, and expanding their presence globally. At a time when many news organizations are reducing staff, journalists with digital skills are finding new roles that did not exist at any newspaper or news network. CNN is hiring more than 200 staff who will be working as video editors, web analytics professionals, mobile developers, and journalists delivering their stories over digital formats. The direction that CNN is taking is designed to keep them competitive with online-only news sites, and enables a digital-first approach to reporting.
Digital journalism skills are in demand and essential for many roles that previously required a journalist to understand traditional reporting skills such as researching, interviewing, and writing. Journalists are still expected to research and report stories, but they will need to send updates via social media, such as sharing information in real-time via Twitter, as well as capture and edit photographs and digital video before, during, and after filing news reports. Journalists are learning digital video editing skills and find themselves taking Final Cut Pro Courses or Premiere Pro classes so that they can quickly edit interviews or short clips that are uploaded and shared as part of reporting a story. Similarly, reporters that never considered themselves a photographer may find the need to learn Photoshop so that they can quickly optimize and share images captured as part of a story. Digital journalism requires that journalist learn these new skills to keep pace with the rapid technological changes impacting news organizations.
While dedicated photo journalists and behind-the-camera roles remain, reporters at many news organizations are now expected to have adequate digital journalism skills to supplement the dedicated video content by creating and sharing video and photos as part of their role.
About the author
Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the creator and editor of the Digital Classroom book series. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. He delivers workshops relating to digital marketing, web analytics, SEO, and SEM. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.