Journalism Jobs / Journalism skills

Digital journalism is a fast-paced career

On the tube home from an event in Bristol this week, one of my colleagues asked me if I blogged. I instantly felt guilty. “Yeah, I’ve been blogging for about three years now,” and yet I haven’t done one since I’ve started my new job. I haven’t even thought about it to feel guilty. I’ve only thought about the work I have to do outside of my day job with strict deadlines that I just can’t miss. There are no deadlines with blogging, which has its perks, but then again, there’s no pressure to get something written and post it.

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Having working in the industry since I started at PTA+ Magazine in August 2013, I felt like I had a pretty good gauge on what it was like. I still had my evenings, I worked 9-5.30pm and rarely needed to work late, and working on a quarterly magazine meant I was able to keep myself and my workload fairly organise to avoid any last-minute panics.

Since switching over to the digital side (if you have too, congrats), my whole perception of the industry has changed, and matches many of my initial expectations when I was younger. It’s incredibly fast-paced, many things have to be done last minute, my ideas need to be a constant flow, I HAVE to be reading the news every day and knowing what’s going on, and I find myself thinking about work constantly. But I love it.

I truly believe for some print publications and magazines, there will always be a place for them, and there’ll be many journalists that always stay in print. But for those looking to get into the industry in 2014/15, you won’t get far if you’re limiting yourself to print. Now I work in Bauer Media, who have recently launched their second digital only brand (GoThinkBig was the first!), The Debrief, it’s clear to see they’re beginning to understand the need for this in the market.

Digital media outlets differ completely to magazines in the way that both news items and feature-worthy stories are put up. If there’s a breaking story next week that relates to our audience, we should be covering it. But if there’s an issue that relates to our audience that’s ongoing, we need to pick it apart, find relevant case studies, quotes, stats to back it up, and present it in a way that’s both readable and engaging.

Digital also means words aren’t everything. Words are my comfort zone – I don’t always find it easy but it’s what I know and what I’m used to doing. But I’m learning that telling a story to your audience isn’t just about writing it down, it’s finding the best possible way to convey that story – whether than be through photos, images, a video, a podcast, or several of these mediums tied into one.

I’m learning. A lot. I’m also commuting two hours door to door every day, each way – so that probably has something to do with why I feel like I have no time (!). It’s really not that bad actually, and I’m surprised how stress-fee it seems to be at the moment.

At a time in the industry where digital is revolutionising the way stories are told, it’s exciting to be part of a project that is fully immersed in this change and I’ll be documenting everything I learn on this blog – promise.

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