Last week the Crème Egg came back en force. Utilising New Media in every which way, the 2010 reappearance was not only inescapable but, with online gaming and a Facebook fan page, it had a much greater Web 2.0 draw.
Handling several online incarnations of the brand, like this, is here to stay according to Hill & Knowlton’s Tech Decision-makers Study last year. Results confirmed certain Retail Marketers found ‘online social media…as important as traditional media.’ However, it was refreshing to see on industry sites this week that the PR professional is not the only one to pit their skill set against these new, emerging channels.
The pressure to understand and even create new digital interfaces now lies with the Journalist, according to American blogsite Gawker. ‘As if the journalism job landscape wasn’t terrifying enough, now you’ve got to think about learning to code.’ Prompted by the bankruptcy of several US newspapers, ‘Network Journalism’ (coined by academics Bardoel and Deuze) i.e. to devise and maintain Web 2.0 news forums is more economically viable than the traditional press. Also, ‘shovelware’/simply uploading content to a website is no longer sufficient. If the readership or the content requires a new platform, it’s down to the Journalist to create it.
As Clay Shirky points out, though, the rise of Programmers will not negate the difference between ‘people who write code’ and ‘people who are paid to write code.’ The journalist’s trepidation to broach unfamiliar territory could partially be down to the news industry’s incessant eye rolling at those amateurs that ‘dabble’ in Citizen Journalism.
Mercedes Bunz of The Guardian is right to point out that the sooner journalists engage with emerging technology the better; ‘journalists of the future will have more forms of expression than ever before.’ Plus, almost as an incentive, Gawker lists writers such as New York Times’ Nick Bilton who’ve embraced coding, or the ‘nerdy trend’, to their benefit. Gawker’s quite right to infer that coding will ensure the news spans further; the same dream as the early ‘pamphleteer, typesetter, postmaster and newspaper publisher.’
OK, the professionals haven’t always welcomed the reports of the Citizen Journalist but the qualified journalist can maintain their advantage, according to Bunz, as long as he/she continues to ‘value the ethics of journalism.’