It’s official! I’ve finally entered the blogosphere. I hope this is the first of many entries and discussions on my blog about the impact of new media on the journalism and public relations fields. For quite some time now, I’ve been mulling over the idea of starting my own blog dedicated to the topic, and now, thanks to Online Journalism course I’m enrolled in at the Missouri School of Journalism, I’ve taken the plunge. While establishing a personal blog is a requirement for the master’s course taught by Jeremy Littau (it gave me the nudge I needed to start blogging), I hope this site will live on beyond the end of the class.
Now a bit about myself. I am the manager of media communications at Colgate University, located in upstate New York. Before making the switch to public relations, I was a news anchor/reporter, most recently at WSTM-TV (NBC) in Syracuse. In broadcast journalism and public relations, I have witnessed firsthand the impact of new media, and I believe the ability to manage that aspect of an operation will be crucial to success in the communications field.
When I got my first reporting gig in Watertown, N.Y. a decade ago, who knew that new media would transform the mass communications landscape is such a dramatic fashion. Back then, reporters worried about turning a story for one platform, the television news broadcast. Now, in addition to reporting for traditional on-air newscasts, journalists are being asked to assume more day-to-day duties, including shooting video, updating website content, and maintaining blogs. Also, the fast-pace of the digital age means even tighter deadlines for reporters who are delivering information for multiple media platforms.
As for my academic research interests, my masters thesis will explore how new media is changing the daily job responsibilities of local television reporters and the resulting impact on quality of news content. Research results could have implications for news managers and journalism instructors. In order to effectively teach budding journalists, we must first understand how new media is transforming the job responsibilities of reporters. Educators must be able to teach journalism students how to embrace new technologies and acquire cross-platform skills while upholding the basic principles of journalism in a democratic society. More details about my research to come in a later posting.
I’m still trying to work on a catchier title for this blog. Any ideas? Let me know.