Message to today’s journalists: Know how to do it all

4 04 2011

By Lisa Klein

If there’s one piece of advice that all budding journalists should follow, it might be ‘know how to do everything.’ Online news sources are replacing traditional media, and according to Vadim Lavrusik of Mashable, successful journalists now need the skills to put together every kind of story package out there and then some.

Lavrusik listed eight traits that a journalist should have, including the ability to do multimedia stories, work with online communities and run a business.

According to Lavrusik, a journalist can no longer focus on writing, editing, broadcasting, photography or any other facet of reporting. Instead, they must know how to do all of it – writing (especially for the Web), shooting and editing photos and video, recording and editing audio.

They also have to be skilled in all things online – posting on both blogs and websites, creating graphics and using social media to interact with the public.

A journalist may also have to be entrepreneurial – many end up creating a running their own websites.

One thing that Lavrusik missed is the ability to cater to a niche market. People can find anything online, and are now used to viewing websites that focus specifically on one thing they’re interested in. This could be a certain subject or a small, local community.

On eMedia Vitals, Sean Blanda said that the writers and editors of these hyperlocal websites are “able to build connections and write deeper stories,” where regular newspapers are not. Focusing on one community, whether topical or geographic, allows for the in-depth coverage that traditional sources lack and that people are looking for.

When combined with the multimedia and online skills needed to present any kind of story, hyperlocal news coverage can connect journalists with the public as never before.




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