Richard Gingras has spread his view on the future of journalism, which according to him is bright, brighter than ever before. A fairly strong statement, especially in this digital era in which print media see their revenues dropping.
Gingras, the head of news products at Google, lectures the journalism students at San Francisco State University about the disruption of journalism and how to cope with it. What causes the original newspaper model? It’s simple; the Internet. The feature of open distribution the Internet offers, kills the print model, as newspapers are successful because of the distribution. The digital era is a blessing for journalism, as long as one knows the workings of the Internet.
For example, just putting a website online is not enough. One can learn from data, what sources their readers use and how they enter a website. A simple lesson about site design will constitute greater outcomes. These tips and tricks are needed to successfully grab the opportunities of digital journalism, which lay around for newspapers. The understanding of it is a large step forwards.
The emphasis on the importance of technology is clearly present in Gingras’ lecture, as he explains the value of technology is made by ourselves. The main role which is set aside for technology is inevitable, and thus future journalists need to change their role, tools and skills. Just writing is not going to get you far anymore in the business!
This plea for being a do-it-all has been said many times before, from both experts as people in the field. A future in journalism contains digital skills, and there is no other way. I felt Gingras’ speech was not renewing, but merely a sum up of the change in news businesses, and what the future holds. His emphasis on computational journalism however, was interesting and I believe it is indeed important.
To stay in Gingras’ spirit: every tool you can learn, learn it, apply it and transfer it.