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The Future of Journalism

By Helen Megalokonomos:

The future of journalism has reached a precipice with budgets shrinking and editorial jobs being cut. The only lifeline for journalists lies in being able to produce content across all media platforms and in adapting to the changing landscape, leading media makers have said.

At a gathering at Western Sydney University, journalist Connie Agius said the future of the industry could be worrying, with lots of talk about job cuts. ”Students should think outside the box,” she said.

Speaking at the same event, Paula Kruger, training manager with the ABC, said the growth was online. ”The ABC News is seeking to broaden its audience, offering news across social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram,” Kruger said.

The event on April 6 proved insightful for future journalists in the audience. With news that The Guardian is to cut 100 journalist jobs and Fairfax plans to cut up to 120 editorial positions, the future of journalism as a career is being debated by media and students alike.

Reporting in The Huffington Post, journalist Dave Yin thinks part of the problem lies in perceptions of the industry. Whilst acknowledging that technology is changing the way the product is consumed, Yin argues that “journalism is suffering because it’s perceived as ‘free’ and therefore inherently undervalued”.

Online journalism career resource, cubreporters, states that with the internet growing as a news source, readers are no longer relying on print or broadcast outlets for their daily news. Breaking stories emerge via websites, social media and Twitter, and today’s journalists need to be confident writing across all platforms, the site suggests. Journalists need to evolve as the media constantly grows and evolves.

Freelancer Connie Agius urged students at Western Sydney University to be multi-faceted, not just a broadcast journalist or a print journalist. Head of cadet recruitment at the ABC, Paula Kruger, told students to keep writing stories, to work in community papers and do community radio as a start. “Think of yourself as a freelance journalist. Find the human story in the political story. Only if we engage in it do we have an impact on it,” Kruger said.

At a time when newspapers across the globe are laying off Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, future journalists must offer their employers a skill set that transcends all media and incorporates  multimedia skills for whatever the future of media may hold.

PICTURED: Paula Kruger

PHOTOGRAPHER: Helen Megalokonomos