Online Journalists: Far More Than Journalists

In a previous post, Noelynn has discussed about the shift from traditional science journalism to online science journalism, and several features of it. Of course, as the workers who need to survive in the new industrial environment, more and more science journalists are becoming online journalists. However, besides just changing the workplace from press offices to home and cafe, the industrial shift means much more to online science journalists.

Declan Fahy and Matthew C. Nisbet from American University mapped the new science media ecosystem in the USA and UK basing on a systematic review of recent studies, from the interviews the conducted with some prominent science journalists in US and UK, it shows that roles of science journalists are shifting.

Image via vegas-times.com

The vital change is journalists are going pluralistic. They are no longer the privileged conveyors staying in the office as a transmission; they are adopting the “newsgathering cultures”. Many of them are working as freelancers. A reporter of science news could be the author of an editorial giving opinions on others works; they are either end of a dialogue. Moreover, their jobs are not only offering a good story of new findings or studies, but also developing an encyclopedia to meet the accessibility of new media.

Their roles, not only as storytellers, but also as reporters, writers, communicators, are also required by the organization in the shifting industry they are working for. Therefore, online science journalists have to be social and interactive, to practice as convener, public intellectual and civic educator, within scientific community, industry, and policy-oriented organizations and general public.

It’s very impressive that the huge shift of roles for journalists in happening under tumultuous media environment. Obviously, some science journalists are doing great jobs to adopt their new roles and building up a strong penal which helps the media they are working for survive the challenge of online journalism ecosystem. Do you think it’s better to be an online journalist? or we have to do so? Here is an article about the pros to be an online journalist, but any cons can you think of?

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2 comments on “Online Journalists: Far More Than Journalists

  1. Thinking about what you said and reading the article it feels like there is not much of a difference in the role and responsibility of a journalist be it online or not. It looks like the shift is only in the technique and approach of the reporting or story. The news gathering, on time reporting, accuracy of facts etc remains mostly the same.
    I get the impression that online journalists have a more fast-paced life since things get done in a matter of minutes including getting hits on a story and readers replies.

    • Traditional journalists are more like at one end of a dialogue. They get new findings, develop stories and pitch to the market. It’s a transmit role. However, when journalism goes online, they have to be at both ends. They are still the storytellers, and meanwhile, they are storyreaders. Interaction means more than just storytelling. As you’ve noticed, internet is extremely timely. By just reading a story, it’s hard to get a good readership. That’s why their roles are pushed to be social.

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