Tag Archives: digital technology

Skillset’s report digested: Is there a skills gap amongst new journalism recruits?

As reported yesterday, Skillset, the training and skills organisation for creative industries, has released a new report suggesting a critical skills gap in new journalism recruits to the newspaper and magazine industries. The new report is a culmination of year-long research and suggests the gap has been exposed by the advancement of digital technology in the sectors.

Some key reactions and findings of the research are rounded up below:

  • Skillset commented in the Guardian that traditional skills are ‘becoming even more important so that customers are prepared to pay for high quality content’.
  • The latest multimedia and technical skills are critical to freelancers in the current environment, the report suggested.
  • The general message from the report is that journalists need to adapt to the huge impact that the recession and technological change have had on the publishing industry. A spokesperson from Skillset spoke to Journalism.co.uk about the importance of applying core skills such as editing and interviewing to new technical skills. Skillset also place an emphasis on creativity and the importance of flexiblity.
  • An additional survey previously published by the body,  the Convergence Journalism Skills survey, discusses how in the future the merging worlds of print, radio, TV and online will require journalists to be confident working across these different platforms.
  • Skillset’s executive director of policy and development, Kate O’Connor, quoted in Guardian, said training can be one of the first things neglected in difficult financial times.  O’Connor underlined the importance of investing in the future. She also pointed out how vital it is for journalists to learn these new digital skills ‘if the industry is to survive and thrive’.
  • Loraine Davies, director of the Periodical Training Council, told Journalism.co.uk ‘that graduates from the 14 PTC accredited journalism courses have all the skills they need to make a meaningful contribution to the brand from the outset’.
  • But Davies recognised that students key skills are not at the expected level when they begin their courses. The solution? ”More must be done earlier in the education process to ensure students have grasped the basics.”

There appears to be a consensus among professionals that skills training needs to be revised in order for journalists to compete and succeed in this developing media industry. One of the key messages to journalists in the Skillset report was not only to fine tune their core and technological skills, but to be flexible and adapt well to change.

As Gail Rebuck, Skillset board member, told the Guardian: “It is important that the industry understands and moves with the market so the skills gap this report has identified does not continue to grow.”

Related: The National Council for the Training of Journalists’ (NCTJ) skills survey from November last year.

Adweek: Atlanta Journal-Constitution advertises print as digital escape

Interesting strategy from the Atlanta Consitution-Journal: the US newspaper has launched an advertising campaign encouraging readers to turn to its Sunday print edition to escape from digital technology (via Common Sense Journalism)

“This is not an anti-Internet campaign,” Amy Chown, vice president of marketing, told Adweek.

“It’s not that we don’t want them to read us online. We wanted to balance the use of AJC.com during the week with the paper on Sunday.”
Full story at this link…

GlobalVoicesOnline: ‘DigiActive’ guide to Twitter for activism

If you’re covering, or interested in, protests and want to understand how activists are using – or could use – Twitter, have a look at this on the Global Voices’ Advocacy blog:

“DigiActive, an organisation dedicated to helping the world’s grassroots activists use digital technology, has just released The DigiActive Guide to Twitter for Activism. Following the recent protests in Moldova, the value of Twitter as a tool for digital activism is more prominent than ever.”

Full story at this link…

OMC09: Levies for aggregators?

Interesting suggestion from National Union of Journalists (NUJ) general secretary and Oxford Media Convention panellist, Jeremy Dear, that content aggregators should be subject to levies.

Dear said the union is opposed to state aid for local media and the relaxation of local media regulation rules, but would consider introducing a levy for those who ‘do not produce content, but live off the back of those who do’.

New media and digital technology is not a threat to journalism – the danger is people who treat news and information as just a commodity, he said.

Online media is becoming dominated in the same ways as traditional media, he added.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Dear said the idea is discussed in a report set for release next week, which focuses on public service broadcasting.

Spanish websites claim top prizes at ONA awards

ELPAIS.com and Soitu.es claimed the first general excellence awards for non-English language sites at the Online News Association (ONA) 2008 awards on Saturday.

Speaking of ElPais.com, the judges said the site was ‘a shining example of how traditional media can blossom in the digital arena.’

“On a bedrock of first-class journalism it has built a brilliant suite of infographics that are rich in information, yet easy to consume,” they added in a press statement.

‘Bearing Witness‘, Reuters multimedia coverage of fallout from the invasion of Iraq in 2003, took the best multimedia feature award in the large sites category, while Adrian Holovaty’s EveryBlock was awarded the prize for outstanding use of digital technology by a small site.

A full list of the winners across the 23 awards and comments from the judges is available through the ONA awards website, but are listed in brief below:

Knight award for public service – WashingtonPost.com, Fixing D.C. Schools

General excellence (small site)– ArmyTimes.com

General excellence (medium site) – LasVegasSun.com

General excellence (large site) – CNN.com

General excellence, non-English (small site) – Soitu.es

General excellence, non-English (large site) – ELPAIS.com

Breaking news (medium site) – STLtoday.com, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kirkwood shootings

Breaking news (large site) – NYTimes.com, Eliot Spitzer’s resignation

Investigative journalism (small site) – RecordOnline.com, The Times Herald Record (Middletown, N.Y.) “I Didn’t Do That Murder”: Lebrew Jones and the death of Micki Hall

Investigative journalism, (large site) – DallasNews.com, The Dallas Morning News, Unequal Justice, and The Globe and Mail, Talking to the Taliban

Multimedia feature (small site) – GEO.fr, Hidden World

Multimedia feature (medium sites) – STLtoday.com, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Reporting for Duty

Multimedia feature (large site) – Reuters.com, Bearing Witness

Online commentary (small site) – Mark Fiore, MarkFiore.com, animated political cartoons

Online commentary (medium site) – The Bottom Line, DallasNews.com, The Dallas Morning News

Online commentary (large site) – God-O-Meter, Beliefnet.com

Online video presentation – OregonLive.com, The Oregonian, Living to the End

Outstanding use of digital technology (small site) – Everyblock.com

Outstanding use of digital technology (large site) – DesMoinesRegister.com, Iowa Caucuses

Specialty site journalism – WebMD

Student journalism – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill & Universidad de los Andes, South of Here, and Taylor Hayden, Western Kentucky University, Closer to Home: A Daughter Becomes Caregiver

Topical reporting (small sites) – Azstarnet.com, Arizona Daily Star, Immigration in the Spotlight

Topical reporting (large sites) – USAToday.com, Today in the Sky