Journalists Need to Stay Apace of New Tech Tools

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba | February 15, 2013

Journalists are increasingly under pressure to learn about new tech tools that are significantly changing the face of the practice and putting power in the hands of audiences to create content. But staying apace of emerging technologies is increasingly onerous and can be time wasting.

“The impact of journalism and technology is its changing the way people engage with information and its a challenge for journalists to learn new techniques and new tools to communicate information,” said Professor Ron Yaros, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Professor Yaros whose research and teaching focuses on how the next generation of digital users interact with digital information said journalists need to use tech tools to produce high quality content and distribute it with agility.

Why Should Journalists Learn New Tools
With journalism undergoing a myriad of changes due to the emergence of new technologies,  learning new tools can help journalist to better deliver their work in the digital age.

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“Anyone can be a journalist now so its not necessarily being at that site, recording information, it’s doing it well. It’s reporting accurately, producing the best video, getting the word out quickly on Twitter and other social media just being the best possible communicator using the same technology that all citizens are using but as a journalists you have higher standards,” said Professor Yaros.

Journalists Need to Prioritize Tools, Learn Technique
However, it is virtually impossible for journalist to adopt all the tools that are cropping like mushrooms in the on a daily basis in the digital space. For many professional journalists keeping at pace with new tools can be overwhelming especially if you take into account the pressures to produce new content.

“You start with whatever you are comfortable with but then you master those tools so that if you like video for instance you would foes on one or two apps and you practice, practice, practice and get better and find techniques to make sure your video has the best lighting, framing, audio especially,” said Professor Yaros.

He added that whereas journalists will just pick up a device and start shooting what is critical is to learn the techniques that are unique to particular devices.

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