Digital Journalism takes a big step forward
By David Sheets
Special to Historic City News
From typewriters to Twitter, Historic City News readers know that technology has shaped and reshaped journalism — only now, the technology is coming faster than we can master it. In the span of a lifetime, hot type gave way to cold type, which in turn sank beneath a wave of websites and blogs and social media apps.
Today, we have come to think that two-year-old tech is obsolete. Moreover, we’ve entered an age when, thanks to rapidly evolving technology, the practice of journalism is no longer restricted to journalists. While some antediluvian trade organizations like the Florida Press Association continue to operate as if it was 1929, others, like the Society of Professional Journalists have tried to evolve.
Freelance news gatherers and non-affiliated journalists are casting a wider net, forcing the industry bellwethers into revising their Code of Ethics and open their membership to meet the needs of the new age. Historic City News is clearly moving with the technology, and have been since March 2000; the date that their Internet mail service first began.
Society of Professional Journalists, specifically, are expanding the Digital Journalism “committee” into a digital journalism “community”. The handwriting is on the wall, just in case the ink-and-newsprint publishers still have any doubt. Local Historic City News reporters and citizen journalists are clearly focused on the fact that news can become history before readers reach the last sentence.
The mission for associations that will survive the next millennium will be to examine and raise awareness of current trends in social media, as well as digital innovations, and the digital culture as well as their effect on the culture, craft and practice of journalism.
As a community, SPJ Digital, for example, says their new mission is to “serve all members interested in the digital future of the industry as well as the profession”.
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