A couple of weeks ago, Michael Rosenblum gave a talk in the Irish capital Dublin at MojoCon, a conference surrounding mobile journalism and what could happen. In an age of new technology and a shifting media environment, the video journalist trainer and founder of the defunct American Current TV network made this argument about the future.
“There are 3 billion people around the world with iPhones or smart phones in their pockets,” Rosenblum writes in a blog on The Huffington Post. “Those phones are not just phones (clearly), but, among other things, remarkably powerful platforms for journalism.”
Rosenblum adds that this content is also shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
“You can write on them, shoot photos, record and edit video and even live stream – and upload it all up to the Internet and a waiting world of a few billion viewers, and all for free,” Rosenblum said. “Anyone can do it. And they do.”
But then, Rosenblum made this point.
“The job of the professional journalist is as dead as the elevator operator.”
A new direction
While Rosenblum makes some points on where reporting is going and how technology contributes to it, and indeed he raises points on the ability to create that content and make it available through the iPhone, journalism is much more than the creation of content and making it available to all on social media.
This profession is a profession that holds people to account and strengthens democracy, a profession that tries to make the world better, one segment, article, and blog post at a time.
The industry is changing right before us, as we are introduced to new ways of thinking and going about journalism in the digital age. Indeed, for those who seek to enter the industry, students are becoming accustomed to think about investing in resources and the value in platforms, be it audio, video and print, or the web and the many new platforms that come to existence.
However, jobs are hard to come by, and the pay for them is, at best, scarce. Yet, those who decide to go into journalism, I suspect, do it not for the money, but for the social good that comes from it, even if the industry is bereft of the best fiscal investments available.
The world needs journalists
The men and women of the industry, whether they are getting degrees, starting out or have been in the industry for years, do it for their friends, family, neighbours, and others. They do it for the public and for democracy.
Over the weekend, the Student Publication Association convened in Southampton for its annual conference. The Association, of which I hold a personal membership in addition to Kettle being a member publication, gave out awards and elected its new executive, including Jem Collins, who takes over as chair from Sophie Davis.
— SPA (@SPAJournalism) April 12, 2015
Collins and the journalists she will represents pursue this profession because they want to make a difference, which is why so many of them put their heart and soul into what they write, and create things that astound and amaze. They want to enrich their communities, make a difference for those who live in them, and help the world cope, irrespective of the financial direction.
These are the next generation of journalists, who will do much good for the profession moving forward. Yet, they and every other journalism student in the UK showcase something more—the fact that the job of the professional journalist is by no means dead.
Journalism will always be a necessity for the people, regardless of what the platform will be, and there will always be people who will need to answer the call to help make the public better informed and engaged.
So be proud of what you do, dear journalism student, because you are helping the common good. You are helping the world be a better place. You are working to make things the very best.
And that is something you can’t put a price on.
What do you think? Is the job of a journalist in jeopardy? Have your say in the comments section below.