As technology changes, so does the audience. Journalists today need to find a way to keep up with the changes or they will find themselves buried under piles of surplus newspapers. Convergence journalism is one of the principle solutions to this looming crisis.
Many institutions, such as CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, are changing the direction of their journalism courses since the separation of journalistic forms is becoming unnecessary. As Elia Powers writes in his article, Learning to Do It All, today’s journalists must have a variety of skills. Bob Cohn, the editorial director of Atlantic Digital, strongly believes this. In his interview with Powers, he said, “The range of skills young journalists need to know now is far greater than what I needed to know when I started. The specialization of labor in the journalism world — those walls are coming down.”
Although some traditional journalists are struggling to adjust to new digital and social media, students studying journalism or mass communications must learn how to use new technology. Effectively using multimedia is essential to being successful in the field and essential to getting messages to the public, but these messages are not just being sent via the internet. The use of mobile applications is also on the rise.
“News organizations must take on a ‘mobile-first’ mindset…” says Cory Bergman in his article on Poynter.org. Mobile is fast becoming the most used way to access information. The use of mobile technology and applications is a big opportunity for the news industry, but if it is not developed promptly it could cause a disruption much like the Internet did just a short time ago.
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London provided one of the first looks into journalism’s future. An Online Journalism Review article discusses how NBC used social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, as part of their coverage. In addition, NBC took convergence journalism to a whole new level with the innovative use of the Shazam application.
Ashley J. Swartz, the head of the New York digital consultancy Furious Minds, discusses how the live coverage of the 2012 Olympics on mobile devices will change the way sports are consumed.
By using applications and technology, like NBC did, news organizations can have a successful future. Convergence journalism is the next big step for these organizations, but just like the technology it uses, it will constantly change.