Don’t just trust those web people. Believe in them. Fight for them.
Kim Bui writes in an amazing manifesto on digital journalism. In too many newsrooms, the people with the digital skills are relegated to a corner, figuratively or literally. No one knows what to do with them – or what they can do.
We’re not just computer nerds, even though we use computers. We’re journalists. Ask us questions. Let us help you. You may think you know what’s going on, but have you asked? We would love to show you, teach you, figure things out with you. “There is no excuse to not to talk over to your web people and ask how you can help,” Kim writes.
If you’re a manager, you need to fight for more web resources even if you have no idea what those are. You need to look ahead of you and know that your future newsroom will need this, whether you are around or not. You need to push the envelope. You need to push your staff to get trained by those web people in the corner.
It’s not just the managers and colleagues. It seems that some young journalists, too, have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital world.
The thing is, it’s difficult to forge your own path in a job that didn’t exist five years ago. People don’t know what box to put this new generation of journalists in. You have to convince them that while you’re using HTML and Twitter instead of pen and paper, what you do is still journalism.
At the same time, the whole idea of the kind of skills a journalist should have is changing. The newsrooms and managers who get it are looking for digital journalists to help shape the path ahead.
You think digital journalism is the future? It’s here already.
In this shiny new today, skills change, tools change, how we produce, distribute and consume the news changes. Curiosity is the constant. It’s challenging, but also exciting beyond belief.