Redesigning Journalism in the Digital Age

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba | February 20, 2014

Journalism in the digital age is increasingly about helping audiences filter through the gazillions of content being produced on a daily basis through high quality, interactive and engaging storytelling. Thanks to technology, journalism is being reshaped, and stories are being told with greater innovation.

By telling a story in multiple ways, journalists provide for multiple audiences to engage with a story in multiple ways thereby expanding the reach and scope of journalism. This can be critical in an age where attention spans are getting shorter due to an overload of information.

According to Elizabeth Shell, Data Producer at PBS.com Newshour, journalism is being fundamentally redesigned based on new tools but the focus remains telling stories.

“We’re still doing the same basic things, we’re still finding stories. We’re still telling them. We’re still talking to people. We’re still fact based storytellers. But the way we’re telling stories is changing, its much more visual, its much more interactive,” she said.

“It’s not necessarily just words on a page anymore. We’re experimenting with ways to get folks invested in stories.”

She added that journalists still need to learn the basic building blocks of storytelling and once they get that, they can explore their passions and increase their skills to help them tell better stories.

“If you are interested in documentary, then learn how to operate a video camera and learn non linear editing. If you are interested in telling stories via photo just become the best photographer that you can be,” she said.

“If you are interested in doing interactivity, then you definitely need to learn how to code and that includes HTML, CSS, Javascript, J-Query. There are all sorts of languages out their that you can learn to help you put those together.”

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