A few weeks back, Alex DVorkin of Forbes, wrote an article titled “Inside Forbes: 9 Trends Journalists Must Know About To Keep Their Careers Going.” In the article, DVorkin names nine different industry trends that journalists must keep abreast of if they hope to continue to stay relevant. Nearly every trend mentioned, had to do with internet publishing. Among the nine trends mentioned, most also included some element of search, social and mobile.
In order to stay current, and to make a name for yourself as a journalist, it’s imperative that you optimize your social networks. Not only will you find out about news quicker, but you’ll be able to share it better as well. Making shareable content is a top priority for even the most established news organizations.For instance, as mentioned in the Forbes’ article, the famously shareable site Buzzfeed, was recently bought out by 24-hour news power-house, CNN. If you haven’t seen one of Buzzfeed’s lists on your timeline, you’re probably not doing the internet right.
For journalists, writing a story that’s shareable, can make the difference between working, and not working. If you’re not currently working, or don’t have much experience under your belt, having an article go viral is a free, and very effective way to make a name for yourself. But how do you write content that’s “shareable?” DVorkin suggests in his article;
“Lite fare travels at light speed across the social Web, way faster than the harder stuff.”
So, while it’s important to have those long-form, well-investigated pieces in your portfolio, if you’re going for shares, try writing something funny, or cute. As any member of Facebook knows, pictures of cute kids, and cute pets goes very far in the social media world. In addition to well-researched think-pieces, writing something like “Top Ten Hilarious Cat .Gifs” might be the article that takes your writing out of obscurity.
Considering nearly everyone gets at least some of there news digitally these days, keeping search in mind as a journalist is imperative. DVorkin writes: “Google’s consumer search engine is the #1 source of audience referrals for most publishers.” That stat pretty much says it all. With search now the number one way news reaches its audience, for a journalist to not optimize their work to succeed in a search engine is ill-informed.
In addition to search and social, which are fairly obvious trends for journalists at this point, there are some other noteworthy technological advances for journalists as well. Mobile is a huge change, and one that advertisers keep in mind. As far as journalists are concerned, the most important aspect of mobile, is mobile summaries. Whether you use an app to summarize articles for mobile, or have people do it, as some publishers have opted, mobile summaries are a must.
Many people claim journalism is dying. As someone who has made a living off of writing online, I dispute that. While the days of working in newsrooms straight out of college may be over, the internet has opened doors that never before existed. If journalists stay current in digital trends that are transforming their field, then they will likely stay working.