The Road Ahead – December 2008

“Western world media is on the brink of two years of carnage” according to the digital director of Englands Guardian newspaper, Emily Bell. As reported in the Immediate Network’s Press, PR & Media Digest, she told a gathering of digital leaders, “We are at the meeting point of a systematic downturn and a cyclical collapse… Nobody in my business has a grip on it yet.  Survivors will have to undergo what is essentially an unprofitable existence.”The Road Ahead: What Lies Ahead for Auto Journalists?

Writing in Online Spin, Dave Morgan says, “Many believe that the Tribune bankruptcy filing represents just the first domino in an inevitable series of sweeping announcements and events involving traditional media companies. I agree with that notion. I think that much more will follow, and follow quickly. He predicts more newspaper bankruptcies, newspapers losing investors and advertisers, local broadcasters benefiting, publication frequency dropping and more “online only” newspapers. In an earlier column he said,” Printing presses, massive mailrooms, fleets of delivery trucks and drivers don’t belong in newspaper companies any more.. . . The days of trees to trucks vertical integration are over, as are their distractions.”

Also from the Immediate Network, Englands Press Gazette reported, “Newmedia expert Ryan Sholin says he would expect the next generation of journalists to bring a ‘trinity of multimedia, interactivity and data skills’ to job interviews.”  According to Sholin, these are the questions they will need to answer:

  • Can you code a Flash stage for chaptered soundslides?
  • Can you edit audio, photos and video into a compelling multimedia presentation?
  • Can you manage a community of users?
  • Can you moderate comments and forums, reader contributed stories, photos and video?
  • Can you build applications that combine info from multiple sources into one integrated tool?
  • Can you design interactive graphics in Flash?

Not good news for many veteran autowriters looking for work in a shrinking market.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Don Adair

    I’m know there are programmers who write well, and I’m sure there are writers who program well. But the demands of each discipline are so great I doubt there will be more than a few who manage to do both well — and profitably.

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