Decline of Print Media Ignites Digital Innovation

Cross-media news


Print media is on the decline, but a career in journalism is still a promising prospect for those willing to embrace digital media.

Doing the rounds of cyberspace at present is a story originally published on Buzzfeed of a leaked New York Times internal report that reveals the media organisation is struggling to maintain relevance and success in the digital age. The report blames the organisation’s slowness in adapting to changing technologies for this.

News distribution today encompasses digital innovations such as on-demand video streaming, podcasting, blogging and social media, so it’s no longer just a matter of good newsgathering, storytelling and writing with integrity. Journalists now need skills in video and audio production, digital photography, basic html coding, blogging and social media (including etiquette and strategy), as well as an understanding of devices like geomaps, slideshows and interactive graphics.

As new media platforms appear, new skills will need to be learnt in order for journalists to operate within them. To put it simply and bluntly, it’s a matter of ‘adapt or die’. Australian universities have now expanded their offerings to include units on digital journalism.

For those who have embraced digital media, there are opportunities in local and international native digital news organisations, as well as in niche-market digital news groups.

It’s still too early for the data to confirm the theories, but it appears that sales of digital news subscriptions may be on the rise. Society’s need for news hasn’t diminished. While there will always be a place for print media, albeit a much smaller one, companies that readily adopt innovative business models for digital news production will find themselves better equipped to remain relevant and maintain their readers. It’s up to journalists themselves to ensure they have the skills to keep up.

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