Telling Stories Together: Collaboration in the Digital Age

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With the takeover in digital media, we experience an overload of information and updates worldwide. With respect to this movement, news outlets are embracing technology and shifting their agenda’s from competition to collaboration. Journalists are relying on their audiences more than ever now to curate relevant, compelling stories.

In chapter 3 of Mark Briggs’ Journalism Next, he explains how journalists are adapting to the digital age and stresses the importance of not categorizing one’s audience simply as consumers. Collaboration in investigative journalism isn’t only a medium to expand an audience but it also allows the opportunity for engaging content that matters and ultimately makes a difference.

Introducing new reporting methods such as crowdsourcing, open-source reporting and pro-am journalism, Briggs demonstrates the value of co-creating while showing why these styles of reporting are increasingly becoming the focus for news in the United States.

Crowdsourcing, a term that lives up to its name was coined by Jeff Howe in 2006. The process involves taking a task that would traditionally done by a professional journalist and outsourcing to a group of citizens through open call.

Community members of the public gather information and are allowed to flaunt their expertise on a number of subjects. One example of this notion of participatory journalism is CNN’s iReport. Although there will always be debates on whether crowdsourcing journalism is ‘true’ journalism, there is no doubt in its ability to shed light on why some stories matter.

On the other hand, open-source reporting, an additional form of participatory online-journalism is a news style that urges the writer to be transparent. Offering unbiased reports free from motives help create a sense of credibility between reporters and their audiences.

These days, the D-I-Y ( Do It Yourself) movement is becoming more modernized. Playing on this, pro-am journalistic reporting allows the audience to publish their own news and other forms of content. While collaboration journalism is more recently muscling its way to the forefront, I believe that it vital in helping journalism get back to its truer scope and goal — to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

Further, Briggs offers tips on managing a community once you have accumulated an audience.With new social media accounts forming daily, it is hard to fathom how one manages to interact with them all. However, Briggs assures us that this can be accomplished using a variety of tools.

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Meredith Artley:Why the Web Matters

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Since the decline of newspapers, there has been a lot of talk about the Web in media and the future of journalism.  On a special edition of Global Journalist, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of CNN Digital Worldwide, Meredith Artley, talks about digital news media and the impact of social media on news.

Before joining CNN, Artley began her career at the NYTimes.com. It was there she discovered the powerful influence of digital journalism in media. Throughout her interview, she discusses a few of CNN’s competitors such as BuzzFeed and Fox, highlighting their importance when it comes to balance in the industry.

I think those competitors will remain competitors for a while, and it’s good. As a competitive person sometimes that drives me a little crazy when i see them inching up over us, and that happens but I also think thats a healthy part of the industry,” she explains.

Distinguished as a Web pioneer, Artley points out the Web’s advantage in allowing journalists to shape stories to ignite certain emotions or reactions from audiences and even the time of day or devices their audience prefers to engage with the news. This is essential when helping the audience believe that  their voices and stories matter.

With the significant increase of mobile internet usage, Artley critiques the future of CNN and notes how social media outlets such as Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat are an ideal platform for CNN to create direct relationships with their audiences.

There are a lot of social networks out there and there’s more to come– and thats wonderful because that means  that there is an opportunity for us to listen to what our audiences are talking about.” she says.

Its no doubt that social media is reshaping news by allowing journalists to live and participate with their audiences. However, its intriguing to see Artley’s take on the growing trend of the general public reporting news.

It helps give us the opportunity to reach audiences where they are, citizen journalism is something that helps support and the growth of storytelling.” she continues.

The Element of Video in Storytelling

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It’s no secret; video has become a key component in journalism and the world of digital media. Whether one chooses to notice or not, we get most of our news through video reports, online broadcasts from news websites or through local broadcasts. Video stories are an essential tool used to activate an audience. When paired with words, video can enhance the emotion and other elements needed to effectively connect with viewers.

While video news is increasingly becoming more predominant, it is important to understand the medium and it’s vital role in the profession. As Briggs notes, video is easier than ever to produce and every journalist should participate. In this chapter, Briggs sheds light on the basic concepts of shooting and editing with digital video. While offering tips on creating a sufficient video story, he emphases how video communicates its own language with just the arrangement of a series of clips.

Throughout the chapter, Briggs gives readers a chance to grasp the idea of shooting a good video by explaining the importance of camera features. The focus and zoom features are easily manipulated depending on setting and angle of the shot. Framing and composing are vital in adding sophistication to a piece. Applying these techniques help with keeping editing simple while also enhancing the storytelling process.

Blogging Matters

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In Chapter 2 of Journalism Next, Mark Briggs sheds light on the importance of blogging in an ever-changing world. Since the production of social media websites, you no longer have to be a journalist to write about the news. Briggs notes how platforms such as Twitter have become an effective medium even for journalists. “When it comes to breaking news, it’s equally as important to be on Twitter to receive information as it is to use Twitter to send it,” he writes.

With the recent increase with online news, blogging may seem like a natural transition. Micro-blogging is an essential way of reaching customers in today’s fast-paced society. Most newsrooms develop a direct relationship with their audiences by responding to tweets and even measuring the statistics of likes and comments. Throughout the chapter, Briggs stresses the importance of blogging as a college journalist because it is the perfect way for students to get a foot on the ladder.

Becoming a blogger may seem weary, but Briggs offers several key pointers on building your brand, audience and network. He also urges student to follow and learn from great bloggers. This is important when witnessing what can be achieved through blogging in terms of design and content.

Whether one holds regard or not, blogging is one of the most valuable tools for students to engage in. With the media’s obsession with shifting power to individuals, it’s clear to see how blogs have become such a simple, timely platform for communication.

Media in the Digital Age

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In a world where technology is continuously evolving, more than ever, people are using the Internet. With this growing popularity, it’s safe to say that the days of Print newsrooms are becoming extinct. Simply put, the media revolution is changing the way journalists do their jobs. However, it is more important to note that media isn’t the only thing changing. Due to constant technological innovation, more people are becoming multi-skilled workers.

In Chapter 1 of Journalism Next, editor and entrepreneural  journalist, Mark Briggs offers a deeper understanding of the Internet, the Web and how technology works. Throughout the chapter, he shares information key tools for becoming a journalist in a digital age. Building on the four types of digital information, he also touches on the basics of the Internet and web-design. He even offers a few tips for publishing on host sites such as WordPress.com. This is essential for preparing digital content.

Digital journalism may seem like a different ball game, but it is all for the better. Not only can we keep track of how audiences react or interact with content, but also digital journalism helps shift the focus from gathering information to the true goal of journalism – storytelling.