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Embracing new technology and maintaining the integrity too…

Posted by Suvro Banerji on September 11, 2008








Embracing new technology and practicing them in our daily lives has become a huge part of our culture. We, as journalism students are more than willing to mold ourselves to meet the demands of the news industry in this multimedia era and honestly, we really don’t mind. However, this seminar reminded us of something which is concerning and even sometimes bothering a lot people. Will integrity of journalism be compromised with the advent of convergence era?

Faculty member and panelist, Mike McKean described convergence journalism as a media to tell compelling stories no matter what it takes. “That means breaking down walls to bring the stories faster and to different levels,” McKean said. But, convergence journalism is a team-work and it is tough to bring such stories through a one-man band.

Martin Hirst from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand believes that convergence journalism cannot be taught in a traditional way. “It doesn’t require teaching, it is about team-based learning,” Hirst said. But then there are problems linked with offering such non-traditional forms of journalism. There is shortage of staff and shortage of talent, not only in the faculty level, but also in the assistant level. Convergence journalism thus needs to be more inter-disciplinary. McKean said talents from other departments like computer science, business and economics need to contribute to this new sequence.

Convergence journalism is really not all about technology. It is about engaging that group of audience who are typically not interested in traditional form of news. And this can be easily done by using non-traditional resources like cell phones, blogs, Facebook, twitter which potentially could attract such audience. “Forty years from now, we will not be teaching journalism in J-schools,” Hirst said. “We will be teaching how to become digital gatekeepers.


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