So here I am again to give a double packed glimpse into the developing facets of being a journalist. We are well aware that the realm of journalism has experienced a number of changes that have come to affect the popularity of various mediums. Newspapers are suffering in circulation numbers as the development of web based journalism has taken lead. The audiences that we now cater to are for more interested in fast, integrated and social news content. This pushes the role of the journalist to a great extent and as a television student the words, "mobile journalist" have come to mean so much to the work I would produce. This phrase introduces the use of smartphone technologies in a way that allows for more people to have access to the information one produces. The number of people who are now able to share their experiences have doubled. And as a journalist it only makes sense that we take lead in using these devices to provide integrated information for our audience members.
The revolution of communication has taken a five step move to where we are at the moment. From the debut of hard copy, the development of the Gutenberg press to the rise of television (my absolute fav), the internet and then the rise of mobile communication. We can already tell that we have moved pretty fast as a modern society, which only emphasises the need for journalists to take lead in these technologies. The age of convergence pushes the journalist to make use of their smartphone technologies such as the I-phone to make spectacular work. The use of these devices allows for one to come in close with a particular action and take to the streets without people being reluctant to share with the journalist. Composition becomes an imperative skill that gives ones images far more life and be an active journalist that documents their world.
With so many web-based technologies, journalists are able to bring something of their own to the table. The world of blogging can be great in being a platform for images and video images to be shared. Conversations can be facilitated by the journalist themselves and soon enough one may have a following which could translate to greater credibility as a mobile journalist. Twitter, is really one of the most dynamic and fastest growing social networks that has lead the distribution of news. This minute by minute documentation pushes us as budding journalists to be fast and also informed. Twitter followers appear far more motivated by journalists who are able to tweet interesting information that is current due to the fast nature of Twitter. Just like in television, you are motivated by the fact that someone can easily turn off the TV or change the channel, one can lose or gain followers just as easily on Twitter.
Mobile technology calls for immediacy and for the story to be visually told and that there is an element of play as the mobile journalist needs to give the public something extra. This is because it is so easy for anyone to break story as the public sphere is equipped with these technologies that it is the job of the journalist to then push for something extra. To do the further research which will give context to the stories in a way that is better than the next journalist. Technologies such as the Go-Pro is a camera device that can give first person view and aerial view of a particular scene which would give so much nuance to the kind of coverage of particular events. The age of convergence calls for connectivity and creativity that can make use of these technologies in a way the stimulate audiences. If we zoom with our feet we are well on our way, so pick up that smartphone and play.
My next focus is a brief look at the world of court reporting. Our class had the opportunity to listen to a presentation from David Macgregor who is a freelance writer for the Daily Dispatch and has had a great deal of experience covering many stories in the Eastern Cape.
The world of court reporting is often a very daunting space for new journalists; however the primary piece of advice was that one should, “act as if they are meant to be there until you get kicked out”. Through a humorous sharing of his experiences it is evident that the court will always provide a story. It is the choices of the journalist to pick something that will be refreshing for the reader/viewer and make that story come alive in a simple and approachable manner. In understanding the basic proceedings the journalist should perhaps acquaint themselves with terminology used in the court so that accurate reporting takes place. If one uses the court roll one can know which cases are coming up and therefore look up particular jargon that can help the reporter disseminate the information.
With the use of mobile technologies one can use twitter in disseminating information on the high profile/ well known cases that are in the interest of the public. Within the courtroom space one should not be shy to ask for names of particular individuals while also adhering to court regulations that hinder the release of some names.
In a simply delivered presentation Macgregor highlighted the key point which is that the court can be a wonderful starting point to finding out so many stories. The stories that are also untold can be found in the courts and one should exercise their right to be in space and practice till court reporting is just as easy as turning a newspaper.
from the creaks of the cottage.xx