Tag Archives: Digital Journalism

The Internet and Traditional News

Traditional network newscasts have seen dwindling audiences for decades. Averaging around 22 million viewers a night in 2012, according to Pew Research, down from previous years. Two reasons for the decline are social media and the digitalization of news.

More and more people get their news from a site like Twitter or Facebook, than an evening network newscast. Posting on social media is a lot quicker and people can see breaking news in real time, instead of waiting until 6:30 p.m. to see the headlines for the day. Journalists on a social media site post breaking news or their stories.

Another reason for a decline in network news audience size is digital media. Everything is posted online. News organizations like ABC News have a strong presence online. News organizations now have separate departments to run digital media. The digital media includes the website, digital reports, and mobile device applications.

The above examples provide people with other ways to consume besides traditional network newscasts. Network news audiences continue to decline.

Am I one of the only people who prefers network news? Are there others like me?

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What is a Multimedia Journalist?

Nowadays, journalists are beginning to do more than just report or film a story. They have become a “one man show.” Multimedia journalists, like Blayne Alexander from 11Alive News, take on the task to film, report, and edit a news package. The multimedia journalist does not require a videographer or editor.

Here is a link to a good article about becoming a multimedia journalist: onlinejournalismblog.com.

Multimedia journalism has been around for years, and it is only now becoming popular. It is important for the journalist to be a good story teller, know how to film and edit.

Building an Audience

In chapter 11 of Journalism Next, Mark Briggs talked about building an audience. He started with discussing building an online presence. Journalists should know their audience and still produce and/or write good stories that their audience would like. The journalist should keep track of work done online.

Briggs said it is important to track the audience too. What does the audience like? What does the audience not like?

Using a tracking software, like Google Analytics would help a journalist or news organization figure out their audience. The software helps track site and page visits, how long someone spent reading a story or watching a news package.

Search engines help journalists. The most credible sources get displayed first. Briggs said most people only scroll through the first page to see what results came up.

Building an audience is important to win back the public.

Mobile Journalism

Mark Briggs covered mobile journalism in chapter 5 of Journalism Next. The introduction of the smart phone changed how journalists worked. Briggs said there was a new field– mobile reporting. Mobile reporters do everything. A recent survey conducted by Verizon and Parenting.com found that parents buy their children cell phones earlier and earlier. News organizations look for ways to utilize the mobile platform. That is how multimedia journalism came about.

According to Briggs, mobile devices make covering the news easier than ever. Briggs provided a start-up list for a mobile journalist. There are two types of mobile journalists: those who need to carry all of their devices and those who carry what they need.

For those who carry everything, Briggs said the following equipment is needed (Briggs 2012: 2194 and 2518 of Kindle edition):

  1. Laptop
  2. Internet for the laptop
  3. Camera for taking photos
  4. Video camera
  5. Tripod for the video camera
  6. Vocal recorder, like a Zoom
  7. Mic
  8. Headphones
  9. Mobile Phone

If you pack light, Briggs said all you need is a smartphone.

Briggs said Twitter is the ideal model for microblogging. There are many ways a mobile journalist can stream live video from their smartphone. He ended the chapter by saying to include the audience in reports.

Instagram: Post a Photo in an Instant

Instagram was co-founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It launched on October 6, 2010. The photo social media platform now has over 300 million users and is owned by Facebook. The app allows users to easily upload photos from their smart phones and share with millions of other people. One feature Instagram offers is filtering. The filters help the photos look more appealing.

Some of the uses include news gathering, promoting products, and interaction between companies and consumers.

Journalists can post pictures of their news packages, the inside of the studio, or pictures of them covering stories in the field. They should be careful not to post anything against the news organization’s rules.

Instagram is a great tool for finding photos, videos, and other links to help journalists covering breaking news or special events.

The Facebook

Nearly everybody knows the Facebook story by now. Co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, Facebook started as a social network for Harvard University students to connect. It soon grew to include other universities, and in 2005, “The Facebook” became just “Facebook.” The social media site soon became open to anyone with an email account. By the end of 2009, Facebook had around 360 million users.

Facebook is a great tool for journalists. They can post content and connect with viewers and readers. Some things for journalists to consider when setting up an account: use a professional profile and cover photos, choose a strong password to avoid hacking, post a lot of photos, videos, and stories, and interact with followers. It is strongly advised to avoid commenting to rude comments on Facebook. If needed to, take it off the site.

The most followed journalists on Facebook include Maria Shriver and the late Roger Ebert.

Pin a Picture on the Wall

Pinterest began in 2010. It was created by Ben Silbermann. When the website launched to the public, it was by invitation only. In the first 10 months, Pinterest gained 10,000 users. Pinterest is now valued at $3.5 billion.

“I’d always thought that the things you collect say so much about who you are.” Ben says this childhood bug collection is “Pinterest 1.0.” (Businessinsider.com) Ben’s quote found in an article by Business Insider describes Pinterest– a collection of things.

Pinterest is like a virtual cork board full of photos taken from all over the internet. It is a personalized media platform. People can set up their board to cater to their interests.

I believe Pinterest is not the best media platform for the majority of journalists. The website does not allow text and seems difficult to keep up-to-date in real time.

Tweet Tweet

Twitter was started by Jack Dorsey, an NYU student. He wanted to offer an SMS service as an alternative to social media sites like Facebook and MySpace. Dorsey sent out his first tweet on March 21, 2006. The site went public July 15, 2006 and started to become popular in 2007.

Twitter is a form of microblogging because it allows users to send out messages that are 140 characters or less. Hashtags, represented by a “#,” represent popular topics and keywords. However, Twitter users should not tweet too often, as they might lose followers. It is best to follow the 4:1:1 rule– tweet four times, retweet once, and tweet about oneself once.

Twitter is a fantastic tool for journalists as long as journalists tweet in a timely fashion. It is a way to connect with readers and viewers, find photos and videos of events, and put their work out there for the public to access.