January 7, 2017 6:52:13 pm
It’s no news that more and more people are switching to mobile phones, tablets and laptops to get their daily dose of news. In fact, social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter are increasingly becoming the source of news for millions of people. In times like these, newspapers are finding it increasingly difficult to survive and newsrooms are shrinking. Recently, an Indian national daily shut down four of its bureaux in the country and left many of the employees looking for jobs. Amid the changing scenario, Twitter user Tanmoy Goswami shared a series of tweets explaining the importance of digital journalism.
He writes he took a break from journalism for six months and it helped him “to pause, reflect, and most importantly, study this industry” and according to him, a journalist must learn about going digital even if he/she is working in a “legacy” media house. They must use news ways of telling a story using features like Facebook live and Periscope because “If you don’t think you’re worth listening to, no one else will”.
He also says that a journalist must not fear being judged by his/her “smart reporter friend” or bow down to “peer judgement” because in the world of journalism, no one really knows it all.
Here’s what he wrote that resonated with many on social media.
“Shaken up by all the media people losing jobs. When I decided to take a break from the industry six months ago, I had no idea. The break gave me time to pause, reflect, and most importantly, study this industry. I read up on media trends like a possessed man. Here’s what I realised. If someone says they know 100 per cent where media is going, they’re lying. Educated experiments at best, on a prayer. If you are a journalist in a legacy media house, educate yourself about digital. Don’t wait for your company to do it. They won’t. Not because of lack of intent always, but because there simply aren’t enough people out there truly qualified to teach digital thinking. I find @CJR @Poynter @BizJournalism very helpful. Lot of great self-teaching material on digital. Caveat: Western markets-focused. Don’t be embarrassed to try out Facebook Live and Periscope. If you don’t think you’re worth listening to, no one else will. Here’s the hardest part: Don’t be in the media to impress peers. Stop worrying about how that smart reporter friend will judge your work. You need to lose the fear of peer judgement because in the digital world, most of us are swimming naked. Praying no one notices. When someone says, “Those stupid journalists deserved to lose their jobs,” pick a fight. You may be next. And you’ll need the support. Don’t call other media folk “presstitutes”, even if you hate them. You don’t see software engineers calling each other “cyber coolies”. Disagree, bicker, but don’t cheapen yourself. It takes away focus from the one guy we really need to impress – the reader/media consumer. And pray that @TheKenWeb @factordaily @newslaundry @scroll_in @ScoopWhoop @TheViralFever and every other media startup out there makes it. Even if you don’t love them, pray that their target audiences do. If they live, this job lives. It’ll be different. But hey. It’ll live. Demonetisation isn’t the enemy. It is just a loaded gun in the hand of media owners. Tomorrow there’ll be bots or something else. Only way to avoid a rude shock: Take your head out of the sand. Learn how the media business works. Fuck that smug editorial ivory tower. Again, train yourself. Find a mentor. You may not find one in your company (see above). Seek out media entrepreneurs, study their vision. I’ve learnt more from @IndrajitGupta @SharmaShradha @TheQtiyapaGuy @sattvikm @prempanicker @nixxin than any media school can ever teach. And finally, prepare a Plan B. Can you teach? Get a communication job? Become a content marketer? Sadly, nothing may be enough. Some of us may never work in media again. But if you can tell a story well, know that you’ll be fine. Seen this particularly in business journalism. We claim to know exactly how someone else should have built their company/team/product. But media cos. suck at following their own counsel. Some of the worst workplaces you’ll see. Let’s judge less till we fix our own culture.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.