Digital media may be journalism’s salvation

When I’m faced with the question of what sort of career I want to pursue post-graduation, answering print journalism is often met with some cynicism.

“Journalism is a dying field, you know.”

Of course I’m aware of the decline of printed press; the idea challenges writers constantly. But we also know the assertion journalism as a whole is dying is a falsity. Despite the consolidation, and even elimination of print publications, the need for information is alive and rising.

The answer is a transition to digital media, but that’s no secret in 2013.

The challenge therein is navigating the transition. While large-scale publications such as New York Times have no issue advertising online content due to their immense following, local smaller-circulation publications will have to be more methodical in garnering their online readership.

So, in what ways do publications such as The Leader Telegram and Volume One in our own city capture the attention of roughly 67,000 residents online?

Volume One’s Managing Editor Thom Fountain explained to me that because of the conversational aspects of softer news writing in his publication, the ability to circulate in other conversational media outlets such as Facebook comes more naturally.

“As a magazine we already kind of have a more casual voice than say, The Leader Telegram,” Fountain said. “So for us as far as writing for the web the transition isn’t as drastic.”

This idea flipped the proverbial switch for me — the information a writer attempts to share should resonate in some way with the audience’s attitude or ideology.

In other words, if I want people to read my story online, I’d better publish it in places where they will have something to say about it.

Pretty intuitive, isn’t it?

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