Traditionally, journalists were only expected to undertake one role within a news organisation. Today, the media is an extremely competitive, continually developing industry, striving to adapt in order to meet the increasing demands of consumers. Modern journalists are therefore, now expected to be extremely versatile; able to adapt to work under several different media outlets if required.
Technology has rapidly accelerated the growth in cross media consumption while the internet revolution has made unspeakable amounts of information accessible for very low costs.
Many people now consume their news online. The Telegraph recently published US research undertaken by Washington-based Pew Research Center. They found forty per-cent of 1,489 people surveyed got most of their news from the internet, up from 24 per-cent in September 2007. That compares to only 35 per cent who cited newspapers as their main news source. (Printed 26th December 2008 on http://www.telegraph.co.uk)
This has proven difficult for the industry as, along with the current financial predicament, advertising and sales figures have dropped considerably as people opt to source their news free, online. This has put hundreds of jobs at risk, and many have already lost theirs, such as at The Herald, The Express and The Independent.
But former Scotsman online editor, Stewart Kirkpatrick, doesn’t believe the internet is at fault, rather the media organisations and their poor business management. In his blog ‘The future of newspaper journalism: a manifesto‘, he states: “The internet will last. Big newspaper companies that screw profits out of cowed staff and unsophisticated advertisers are doomed.” He adds: “I believe that the net has brought us to the verge of a golden age of journalism. In fact, there has never been a better time to be a journalist. It’s just that there’s never been a worse time to work for a newspaper. So don’t work for a newspaper. Work for a news organisation which understands the 21st century…” (Published 8th July 2008 on http://www.stewart-kirkpatrick.com/souralba/tag/internet/)
With increasing consumption of news online, media organisations have moved to converge media. This was noted in the BBC’s 2007 annual report. Director of BBC Global News, Richard Sambrook, stated: “We are moving into multimedia provision for international news…” adding, “…so it is about how we pull together our various strengths: on radio, which still provides a very large audience, but also on television and the internet, increasingly with video content as well. It is about moving all of our international news provision into a more coherent multimedia operation.”
Recognising the advantages that such versatility and flexability have within a media organisation, I have proactively gained an extensive amount of experience in various different media outlets to prepare me for entering the media industry full-time.
Back when I was only 16, I decided to follow in my grandfathers (Alex Murray) footsteps into journalism. I undertook work experience at my grandfathers former employers, The Daily Record, and more recently at The Scotsman.
I worked at both the news and sports desks, and produced several articles that were published. Such placements gave me the opportunity to write under different genres for different markets, whilst also giving me useful practical experience in interviewing techniques and research methodology.
On the back of my placement at The Scotsman I was offered a job as sports sub-editor, where I have been working since August 2007. Undertaking this role has given me plenty experience in sub-editing, and also a good understanding of the way in which national titles are run.
In June 2007 I undertook a placement at Edinburgh and Fife radio station Forth One. I worked under the guidance of the news team, obtaining and editing audio recordings that were broadcast on news bulletins. Apart from recording vox-pops I was also given the opportunity to interview several high profile individuals, including one of my greatest inspirations and role models, Michael Palin, as well as several of Edinburgh’s top sports personalities.
At Forth One I enhanced my interviewing techniques and radio packaging skills, whilst I was also able to obtain an understanding of the way in which news bulletins are put together for radio programmes.
My most recent placement was at Sky Sports. Based in Glasgow, I initially shadowed chief reporter David Tanner where I learned about the importance of visuals, voice-overs and interviews centred around specific aims of Sky Sports news agenda.
Following the first couple of weeks, I was asked to go out, alone, with only a microphone and a cameraman to interview some Rangers and Celtic players at the airport – returning from European competition, and also at several press conferences across the country, which also gave me further experience in interviewing and visual packaging.
In addition to my experiences in newspapers, radio and television, I have also undertaken several large scale productions during my (BJTC accredited) BA Journalism degree course at Edinburgh’s Napier University.
In 2008 I helped produce a free, lifestyle magazine aimed at Edinburgh’s young professionals and students. I was nominated by fellow peers to be Production Editor of Impulse magazine. Making specific design decisions including the choice of fonts, colours, paper size and feel, and the number of pages were just some of my tasks.
I was also responsible for overseeing the pictures editor and design editor and their respective teams, helping them out with both the sourcing of images and designing numerous pages, including the front cover and several other internal pages which I designed myself.
During this experience I developed my man management skills while I also made good use of my creativity. I was responsible for many of the key decisions throughout the production process and was really proud of the input both my production and design team, and myself, had put into the magazine.
Congregating all my previous experience, I believe I was in an advantageous position to offer my services as Convergence Editor of the live rolling new days for Dunedin Napier News (
This was a great privilege and something that I relished. After our first news day I was buzzing, overly impressed with the pace of production as well as the quantity and the quality of the work produced.
Working as the Convergence Editor also helped me improve on my man management skills further. I was responsible for arranging and managing a team of, on average, 20 video, radio and online journalists; planning stories; approving stories and finding last minute stories to cover. I also had to ensure, during the live news days, every major story was covered and that all deadlines were met (which they were). This role also allowed me to gain further practical experience in both radio and video journalism.
Through my understanding of the industry and at university, I believe I have obtained essential practical experience using radio, television and computing equipment, whilst I have also developed a highly versatile style of writing that can be adapted to different markets and different media outlets.
Similarly, my interview skills and research techniques, along with my experience in man management and key decision making, make me somewhat experienced at all levels, and would consider myself a highly versatile and worthy asset to any media organisation.
to check out my C.V