Over the past one decade or so, we have been hearing about it, talking about it and experiencing it as well. Indeed, digital is the way forward in journalism. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, new media had emphatically established itself as the primary journalistic platform. If at all there was a tinge of doubt vis-à-vis the primacy of online news content, the pandemic sealed it for once and all.
However, we are not here to talk about digital journalism. Enough has been said about it and to the extent that anything in the given domain would prove unabashedly repetitive. Instead, what would be an infinitesimally better discourse is to talk about the changes that we are experiencing in the world of digital journalism over the past two years and how the changes have uncovered newer opportunities for prospective journalists. More particularly, we are talking about journalism career opportunities. Without any further ado, let us take a closer look:
- YouTube Journalism: Many reputed and mainstream journalists including the likes of Barkha Dutt and Faye D’Souza have opened their YouTube channels that are constantly streaming news and views. In fact, going by the sheer content quality, it would not be an overstatement if we were to say that these YouTube channels are likely to replace the mainstream news channels very shortly. Owing to the fact that these YouTube channels are largely independent, the news that are being transmitted through these channels are largely unbiased and censorship-free. Given the scenario, young and bright journalists can think about opening their own YouTube channels instead of following the beaten track. One also needs to consider that the amount of investment that one needs to make to open such a channel is minimal.
- Vlog and Podcast Journalism: Industry veterans often talk about how vlogs and podcasts are gaining in popularity with each passing day. Topical vlogs and independent podcast sites could be a great way for an upcoming journalist to leverage their knowledge and expertise. As alternative media is pushing its envelope, the content quality of these vlogs and podcast sites is improving at an exponential rate.
- Freelance Mobile Journalism (MoJo): There have been umpteen discussions on mobile journalism or MoJo and the discussions keep getting intense. However, what everybody seems to have forgotten is the growth potential for freelance mobile journalism. Mobile news content has the capacity to make journalism a lot more encompassing that what is currently the case. As we are trudging through an economically depressed post-pandemic time, journalism of tomorrow will be largely mobile. Cheap technology and easy navigability of content will create all the difference.
- Data Journalism: Moving ahead, data is set to be the key. Surfing through data and making sense out of it will become the most important skill for a journalist. Therefore, technology and numerical skills would distinguish a successful journalist from a not so successful one. When we talk about data, we also talk about the seamless and palatable representation of data.
- Journalism through Infographics and Animation: In a world that has seen the unbelievable growth of technology, it is only natural that the traditional modes of news content delivery would cease to be effective. Therefore, text, photographs and videos are no longer enough to impress and hold audiences. One also needs infographics and animation clips to make a news package more incisive and consumable. Journalists who can create meaningful and impactful infographics and animation would be in high demand in the next few years.
- Spatial Journalism: Before we discuss the possibilities in spatial journalism, we need to understand what it exactly is. Spatial journalism can be loosely defined as a novel form of journalism that juxtaposes the concepts of place, space and location into traditional journalistic practices. The location can be physical, augmented or virtual. It involves new storytelling formats such as the ones that include Augmented Realities (AR), Virtual Realities (VR) and Mixed Realities (MR). What is clear though is the primordial role of technology in the entire process. Subject to the fact that immersive storytelling has better chances of retaining news consumers, spatial journalism can be safely considered to be biggest thing in journalism.
- Modular Journalism: Modular journalism is the practice of looking at a story not as a monolith but as a collection of bits and parts. The process of crafting a story by including only those parts that are consumable and interesting is called modular journalism. At a time when the attention time among news consumers is consistently shrinking and content creation is becoming increasingly difficult, modular journalism is set to be a panacea. Therefore, journalists who know the pulse of their audience and can accordingly create a story without bothering much about the older traditions in journalism are destined to be more successful than the rest.
- Human Interest Journalism: Over a period of time, young and aspiring journalists have been made to believe that stories that encapsulate the pulse of the common people do not create much public interest. However, recent trends in journalism has proved it wrong. Therefore, empathetic storytellers who understand the finer nuances of humanity would be in demand. The pandemic has shown the vulnerability of the human race in the face of natural adversity and hence people throughout the world have started understanding the importance of documenting human frailties. This is a marked opportunity for young and sharp minds in journalism to explore storytelling with humanity at the core of it.
- Health Journalism: With the pandemic having changed the dominant global discourse, health journalism and health journalists would continue to become increasingly more relevant. Therefore, young scribes who are interested in health journalism can ride the tide and become successful in practically no time.
- Technology Journalism: With technology set to become even more encompassing in the days to come, journalists who understand technology have a greater chance of making it big in the news content market. In very simple terms, reportages that concern technology would become the norm.
Journalism, as we know it today, would significantly transform in the next few years. The most important thing is to comprehend the pulse of this change and act accordingly. If a prospective journalist can do that, there will be no looking back for her/ him.
This blog encompasses the changing lens of digital journalism and tries to provide information pertaining to career prospects in the broader domain of journalism for upcoming and aspiring scribes. Just in case you find this blog useful and relevant, please make it a point to share it with as many people as you like for them to know the contemporary nuances in journalism and related career opportunities.