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The Changing Face of Journalism


Working inside a content producing organisation is a fascinating place to be right now. As media owners shift from being defined less by their channel and much more by the audiences they serve and the brands they own, the one thing that remains a constant is the need for outstanding editorial talent. But even that need evolves as we demand different skills, approaches and ways of working from our staff. If a journalist on the NME goes to interview a band, they now take with them a video camera to upload the highlights to the website. Perhaps a longer version is available on podcast for download. The write up of that interview looks, feels, and is written entirely differently depending on whether it is destined for the website, mobile or good old print.

Smart publishers are developing techniques not unlike those being adopted by marketers as they seek to broaden their reach, generate advocacy, and engage their audience. Content is propagated in new ways, structured in a search-friendly manner, delivered on multiple platforms. Roy Greenslade (of The Guardian) has captured 12 things every journalist should now be doing in this new media environment. It includes tangible things like becoming a blogger, community participation, producing your own content on different platforms, using RSS and other new digital formats but also more intangible things like becoming a constant learner. There’s also a great guide to "Journalism 2.0" here.

The degree of similarity in the challenges (and opportunities) facing planners and journalists is startling (maybe Planning and Journalism are not so far apart anyway). So this is a list which I think is relevant to anyone who works in communications. Perhaps it’s true that if you are not a part of it yourself, you’ll never understand these new forms of connecting and communicating as fully as someone who is.

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