Journalism vs. New Media: The Best Love-Hate Relationship

journalismNewmedia

If you are a recent journalism graduate or a seasoned journalist and have used job sites like Indeed.comCareerBuilder.com, or even JournalismJobs.com to look for a new career, you may have noticed that there are less reporter, writer, and editor jobs, and more digital- and social media based-careers that fill the search results. 

As you know, the emergence of social media and technology as a whole has changed the dynamic journalism degree, nearly placing objective news writing, editing, interviewing, and research on the back burner. Instead, a strong interest in creative storytelling through video and imaging, along with audience engagement, analytics, SEO, and keyword optimization on the rise. And somehow you may have fallen behind and now question the relationship between journalism and new media.

In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, “… producing mobile content is becoming a significantly bigger part of the work experience these days. In 2013, 17% of employed bachelor’s degree holders said they produced content for mobile devices, up from 13% in 2012 and nearly double the 9% reported in 2011.” And the numbers have significantly increased since then.

So, What Does This Mean?

It means that journalists could not only perfect those journalism skills but learn SEO, keyword optimization, coding, media pitching, basic to intermediate design and layout, analytics, and other skills along the way to meet the demands of the market and catch the eye of employers, while maintaining journalistic integrity.

By all means, learning or honing these skills on a business level is not easy. But developing at least some of these skills can put you a step closer to obtaining a career where you can put your journalism degree to use and produce great work in an ever-changing market. Below, learn how your journalism degree can be applied to four careers that are emerging in today’s digital market.

Copywriter

Copywriters typically create advertising and marketing copy for a variety of companies. Now, copywriters not only create advertising and marketing copy, but they write and edit website copy, blogs, and social media content as well. Employers who are seeking copywriters often require a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, marketing, or creative writing. Clearly, it’s not objective writing, but you are able to craft copy and specific messaging for brands.

Public Relations Specialist

Some journalists may cringe to hear that their skills are necessary to be a successful public relations specialist. In fact, the job functions of a journalist and public relations specialist are not that much different, except for one thing: journalists tell stories that are objective and impartial, while public relations specialist tell stories supporting one side. Like a journalist, public relations specialists need to learn how to write, as well as build relationships with the media, prominent bloggers, stakeholders, and other influencers.

Communications Specialist

Similar to a public relations specialist, a communications specialist also requires a journalism, communications, public relations, or marketing degree. Typically, this kind of career mainly involves developing initiatives, communications plans, and programs for internal or external audiences. Communications specialists also write and design a variety of publications for companies, including newsletters, websites, advertisements, brochures, social media content. So, having a keen eye for layout and design is also helpful and sometimes required for this position. This position may also be involved in web analytics and engagement.

Social Media Manager

A newly created position, the social media manager develops effective social media plans and editorial calendars and follows trends, while maintaining the online reputation of a company or institution. While short, succinct writing is a must, this type of position may be out of the norm for some journalism professionals, as it requires knowledge in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms; SEO; keyword optimization; and data interpretation ― new skills that are relevant and needed in today’s job market.

Places Where You Can Learn These Skills

Many community colleges and universities offer on-campus and online certificate programs that specialize in social media and digital marketing. Graduate school is another option that provides a more in-depth study, hands-on study of new communication practices. Sites like Udemy.com offer a plethora of short online courses to help you learn or strength new media skills.

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