I was reading this post written by an intern, which in my opinion is a scary place to be.
It’s one thing to be in journalism and try to hold on, it’s another to be entering the field and have hope.
I’m glad Jessica has hope. I agree with her that things have to and will change. We will all have jobs, we will all still be journalists, but we’ll be doing something different.
I am tired of hyperlocal being toted as the savior. Innovation is the savior. I’ve watched hyperlocal fail.
We need to find a way to deliver the news to people, quickly, instantly and well.
Does it mean Twitter will be a newsroom or that papers will all be on the Kindle? No idea.
I think first, we need to think about catching up. Media needs to start hiring people (ahem, me) that use the web the way that the next generation does. We need to stop being afraid of change and “scaring readers.” It’s great to hold onto the things that the rapidly aging stereotypical newspaper reader likes, but really, they will not be the ones buying ads and subscriptions in 20 years.
Make your site mobile friendly. It’s ridiculous how many sites are not. I, and most people I know have a Blackberry or iPhone or at least Internet on their phones. Get used to it.
Get a Twitter feed and use it well. Establish a presence, even if it’s not the best, on all the other social networking sites.
Fix your RSS feeds, for God’s sake. Make sure they all work, and there is one for every section, every blog, every columnist.
Redesign your site so you don’t look like you came from 1995.
Train all your photographers to do video, and while you’re at it, the reporters too.
Have everyone try liveblogging and at least understand what this new fangled social media is about and how it works.
One of my friends recently told me her newspaper didn’t even have blogs. Really? And you ask why people won’t log onto the site?
Let your staff try new things and let them fail. Know when to give up, when to try again and when to start.
Maybe it’s because I’m an idealist, 25 and want to have hope that this will all come out for the better, but I don’t see why this is so hard. This is not a curmudgeon versus rookie debate. Let’s stop fighting. It’s ridiculous the amount of space and time that journalists spend arguing about why we are failing. I don’t care. Figure out who is succeeding and ask yourselves why they can do it, but you can’t.
It is worth it, if you take the time to try.