Long gone are the days of traditional journalism.
It used to be when we heard that word, we thought of somebody frantically scribbling notes in a notebook, asking all sorts of questions. Now we type at our phone screens, taking notes and recording and asking questions all at the same time.
It used to be that only the very best could work for a paper, could be a true journalist. Now, with all our technology, anyone can write and share a story within minutes.
It used to only be about the paper itself. The print copy was each publication’s master work each and every day. And it still is–but now just a paper isn’t enough. Websites, Twitter, anything and everything you can use to build your brand is necessary.
Journalism has changed so much. With all these new ideas and innovations, we are pushing for the biggest, best new thing to try and stay ahead. The next Tweet, post, or blog could be essential to the paper’s success. So we put everything into everything.
Yet journalism has not changed at all.
No matter where you are, the biggest part of journalism is the drive for the truth. The ability to ask, “Why?” The best journalists are not made by the amount of followers they can reach in one Tweet, or the amount of new techniques they can use in their process. That intrinsic motivation is what sets some journalists apart. And for some of us, it needs to be found again.
We take our work out, broadcast it. We want to get as big as possible. But by doing so, we might just need to get small. Bring it back in, focus on good writing, and the rest will come. It’s still the same art form it was fifty years ago, it’s just evolving.
When we do these things, when we hold ourselves to a higher standard, then we are truly journalists. We can go from just telling stories on the internet to being a reliable publication. We can set ourselves apart from the rest. We can, and we will, get it done.