Qualities of the digital journalist

February 7, 2009 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: news web sites, newspapers, web journalism.

Steve Outing, a well-known thinker and writer about online journalism, has envisioned the not-so-distant future digital newsroom in his January 28 column for Editor and Publisher. (The All-Digital Newsroom of the Not-So-Distant Future)

The whole thing is well worth reading and, journalism profs, recommending to your students.

Of particular interest is what Outing says will be the qualities of those who land jobs in this new space. They will be:

  • people with understanding of and enthusiasm for new forms of media and storytelling
  • multifunctional journalists who can use all the tools available, particularly audio and video recorders
  • social networks users and people who know how to gather an audience
  • people who can engage with audiences and are comfortable sharing personal information

Underlying all of these qualities is an affinity for practicing good journalism.

Someone asked me today what I thought the Knoxville News Sentinel (the local paper) would be in 10 years. I said I thought there would be a 24/7 web operation with a weekend print edition. That’s based on what has happened in the last few weeks.

But who knows what innovations await us? We can only say with certainty that paper will no longer be surpreme.

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