Publisher Emond Montgomery has graciously posted my chapter, “New Challenges for Journalism in the 21st Century”, from The New Journalist: Roles, Skills, and Critical Thinking as a free download.
It is the first chapter in the book, discussing how the professional of journalism has changed, both in terms of practical skills and the mindset:
The start of the 21st century has been marked by media industries facing profound change in their structure and business models, the nature of their content, and their relationship with audiences. Journalism and the journalist as a media professional are at the centre of a transformation that is challenging norms and routines that have remained, until now, highly consistent.
The chapter explores how convergence, multimedia and participation are changing the practice of journalism, and raising questions about what is journalism.
I place the shift taking place in journalism within the context of research into new literacies – from a physical-industrial mindset to a cyberspatial-post-industrial mindset:
Seen through the lens of new literacies research, digital media is more participatory, collaborative and distributed, and less finalised, individualised and author-centric than previous forms of media.
The chapter concludes:
The future role of the journalist will clearly be determined by the complex interplay between media technologies, professional practices and societal factors. Journalism has developed as a relatively closed journalistic culture for the production of knowledge, based on a system of editorial control. Yet new media is characterised by its connected and collaborative nature. The challenge for journalism, and the individual journalist, is to locate a place in the continuum from control to connection, and from a closed to a collaborative media culture.
I am grateful to Emond Montgomery Publications for making the chapter available online. It is one of two sample chapters available from The New Journalist. The other by is by Paul Benedetti on structure and story online (PDF).
The chapters provide a flavour of the book which provides an introduction to the essential practical skills required by today’s journalists, to think pieces on the state of journalism.