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That rare long career in digital journalism

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Is there any such thing as a career in digital journalism? | Fusion

    "When you see a company like Vox Media investing millions of dollars in Vox.com, the youth of the founders is a feature, not a bug. When you see companies like Gawker Media or BuzzFeed building newsrooms of young people, that’s partly because young people are cheaper and hungrier, but it’s also because they’re better at doing these very new things than their more experienced colleagues might be.

    On the face of it, that’s great, if you’re young. But look forward a couple of decades here – the best thing that happens to a young person is that she becomes an old person. And at the same time, while it’s impossible to know exactly what the future of digital journalism holds, the one thing we can be pretty sure about is that it’s going to involve a lot of change. Large chunks of journalism have already changed more in the past 10 years than they did in the previous 100, and that pace of disruption is not going to slow down.

    In that world, what hope will there be for a 50-year-old journalist who grew up with the ancient skills needed in 2016? Right now, the future looks superficially bright for young journalists in large part because they’re taking jobs away from older journalists. Those dinosaurs. But the rate at which someone becomes a dinosaur is only going to speed up.

    All of this is exacerbated by technology. We’re in the middle of what you might call the Platform Revolution. At heart the idea is that the real value, in a media company, lies not in the human talent, but rather in technology. The workers—the journalists—become easily replaceable cogs in the machine.

    To make matters worse, there’s more competition than ever, in journalism: that’s part of why we’re living in a golden age. There’s been an amazing and wonderful explosion in the number of talented people doing great journalism online, and there are more and more people arriving in the field every day, from all over the world. And by the law of supply and demand, when supply increases, price goes down.

    The fact is that, already, enormous numbers of incredibly talented journalists find it almost impossible to make a decent living at this game. Indeed, the exact same forces which are good for journalism and good for owners are the forces which are bad for journalists themselves. And while it’s one thing being paid relatively little when you’re young; it’s another thing being paid relatively little when you’re getting into middle age and you have a family to support."
  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Journalists are more than capable of learning the new skills needed in today's journalism and the future as the need for those skills grows. The problem is that businesses don't feel like training them because that would mean they will be sticking around longer and wanting larger paychecks than the young cub out of college.
  3. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The problem, IMO, is that a lot of these businesses don't make that much money and they can't afford to pay people well when those people start desiring fuller lives.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Then you let them leave on their own. You don't decide to just dump them because you think they're obsolete. You let them learn the skills that your business will require.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I want to live in your world, Baron. I can have a gallon of Ben & Jerry's every night and still lose weight.
    Mr. Sunshine likes this.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    You don't think older employees are capable of learning new skills and technologies?
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Not if they're related to you.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    In other words, you don't think older journalists are capable of learning new things. Duly noted.
  9. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    They don't become obsolete because they can't learn how to tweet and take videos. Good God. Changing a tire is 12 times harder than either one of those or almost any other "tools" short of hard-core coding.

    Online journalism is beginning to embrace the superhero culture of Silicon Valley. Work for cheap, generate a shitload of content, self-promote to the nth degree, and don't slow down. It's going to get all these places eventually. Gawker's trying to unionize to stave it off; we'll see how that plays out.

    The online world runs people into the ground, man. It's a mental sweatshop.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Oh, I agree. But you get these papers that, when they do their layoffs, claim that "they have to reposition for the future" or some sort of crap like that. You have the Stephanie Murrays of the Tennessean, who spew out that workers who don't want to reapply to their jobs are somehow obsolete or afraid to learn new things. When in reality, they would be perfectly capable of doing their new job, only they're not willing to do it for peanuts.
  11. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Shut up and go register for #ONA15!!1!1

    Truth of the matter is everyone's a journalist now, or has the technology to be Johnny Reporter on the Spot.

    If you think the disruption of the past 10 years has been fast and furious, wait to see what happens by 2020.

    As for brick and mortar shops, Trenton won't have 2 papers -- they'll meld and print twice a week. New York Post and Daily News will merge because smart business. Wait till the LA and NY Timeses start slashing up the gazoobo and make everyone reapply as contracted remote reporters, pennies on the dollar.

    Meanwhile, Twitter and Instagram and SnapChat (still can't believe the fucker turned down a 3 followed by 9 zeroes) will grow and grow and become Insta-Journalism as we know it.

    /apocalyptic visions

    So, how 'bout those whiny-ass Royals!
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I was a newspaper guy for 23 years. Was good at it. Got spit out of the biz 3 years ago.

    This week I started doing the pay-per-clicks thing for a news site that has a few go-getters who make really good money -- at least the best one does. The guys who recruited me hard for 3 years said she's the female version of me in terms of crazy-insane work ethic and ability. It has paid off handsomely so far this year.

    The place has boiled down the exact (and efficient) science of Google.

    That said, it's taken just 2 days for me to realize I've lost my fastball: 13 packages I've created since yesterday morning have generated 3 bucks. Literally.

    Problem is I'm not geared into TV like I used to be. That's where the big money is to be made, especially the reality TV shit. The top money maker has a corner on that market. She's a wolf when it comes to being tuned into DWTS and AI and The Voice and all that crap and then turning it around after every episode because people Google the shit out of those shows. I spend 10 hours a day in the gallery and don't have the gusto to be that kind of TV person at night.

    There's also good money to be made through a partnership with Amazon but I haven't even tapped into that yet.

    I've put in 20 hours the last 2 days. I've made 3 bucks. I don't have it anymore.

    Abe Vigoda has more "It" than I do.
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