Teaching Examples

Today’s Journalism Is Obsolete
January 15, 2006, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From an excellent article (in English / en español) by Julian Gallo, a professor of new media in Argentina.

“Basically, the story that is published in Internet today is still being produced as it has historically been produced in printed media. The author deals with the important stuff (he writes) and other people enlarge or enrich his text by adding design and content. This working process conceives the author as a one-talent person: he can only write. In this scenario, somebody is specifically in charge of the layout, another person takes the pictures, a third one chooses the photos, somebody else handles the videos and audio that will be eventually edited by another person and, finally, a ‘technician’ posts everything online. In such a structure, a journalist is believed to have less abilities than a 16-year-old boy to make his weblog.”

Part of the reason why the typical reporter “has no control on what, where and how the multimedia contents will appear, [the result being that] these contents will inevitably be excluded from his story” is that most of the working journalists today do not know how to produce digital media.

They do not know how to edit photos properly for the Web using Photoshop. They don’t know how to gather and edit audio. They may not even know how to create a Weblog with Blogger or download a podcast from iTunes.

Some of this is our fault, in the journalism schools. We have too few resources and too many students to ensure that all the journalism students have access to digital skills training. We also find that many students come to us so poorly prepared to write clearly and to gather accurate information, we are compelled to devote a lot of time and energy to ensuring that they can at least function as competent journalists upon graduation.

Some of the fault lies with the owners of companies that produce journalism — their puny training budgets (and pitiful salaries paid to reporters) are legendary.

And some of the fault must lie with the journalists themselves. If they have not learned to use the new tools, it is not fair for them to cast ALL the blame on others — their employers, their former professors and teachers. Why are they not more self-fulfilling in learning to use new technology? Why don’t they care more about adapting their storytelling techniques to reach wider audiences?

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