Journalism sure has changed a lot in the past two years. Journalism has changed as an industry and in terms of my own career.
The last time I was working in a newsroom was in 2008. Back then I was working as a staff photojournalist in Kansas City. Now I find myself a graduate student interning as a reporter. Instead of driving around town taking photographs I now sit behind a desk typing on a keyboard. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely perks to being a reporter. For one, I finally get my own desk, computer and telephone. For years I often worked from a laptop in my vehicle using only a cell phone to communicate.
I also finally get to experience journalism from a words point-of-view. In undergrad my love of words was expressed in my creative writing classes. I often found the journalism style of writing to be bland and dry. However, I am now rediscovering that writing for newspapers and other media outlets does not have to be that way. News and information is readily available everywhere, things are more niche and media outlets are trying to stand out from the crowd. In fact, in my short career in journalism there have been many things that have changed.
I first picked up a camera in college in 2002 when I was a sophomore. I was the first photographer on our campus newspaper staff to use the new digital camera. In 2005, I was hired as a photojournalist at the Kansas City Star. A year later, a video camera was thrust into my hands. It was the start of what I like to call the “multimedia craze” because suddenly everyone in the newsroom was expected to shoot video. However, I liked multimedia and video and continue to embrace it. Then a year later, the recession hit and layoffs began.
People that had worked at the newspaper for years were suddenly gone. Whispers of layoffs that started as rumors were later solidified into reality during department meetings. It was at this time I decided to return to school to learn the art of reporting and writing.
The atmosphere in journalism at that time was you needed to be a jack of all trades. Today that trend is still evident, but now newsrooms have embraced social media and networking. As an intern at the Oklahoman we are expected to have a Facebook and Twitter profile. At my other internships prior to my first full-time job, these might have been discouraged and seen as a waste of time. Now these social sites are encouraged and utilized. We are even required to write blogs like this one chronicling our experiences here at the newspaper.
Journalism certainly has changed since my first days in undergrad to my first job and now my first internship as a reporter. First of all, I never anticipated working on the words side of journalism. I never saw myself picking up a video camera and learning how to edit. And I never predicted someday I would be expected to tweet, post and blog as a journalist.
I know I haven’t been in the journalism game that long, but I wonder what changes will come in journalism and my career in the next 10 years.