The Chase: Teaching Online Journalism

How do you teach up-to-date content about a rapidly evolving industry?

How do you provide students with up-to-the-minute knowledge if that knowledge is constantly changing?

How do you print a textbook if what you’re printing will be obsolete by the time it’s printed?

There’s a theory about digital convergence that I studied at university (15 years ago), but it’s really only been in the past couple of years that it’s really taken hod and we’ve been living that theory

John-Paul Moloney, ACT topic editor

Being a current student of online journalism, I can’t imagine being taught a theory that wouldn’t take affect until another 15 years has passed.

Journalism then and now. Photos sourced here and here.

Journalism then and now. Photos sourced here and here.

But as online journalism was still learning to walk in the mid-90s and early 2000s, I can understand why theories of where this new concept would take journalism were being taught.

Now, we’re being taught about how to thrive in an online world, well, now.

The deadline is now.

People want news now.

Your editor wants your story now. (More likely they want it yesterday.)

Although we are being taught about the here and now of online journalism, there are expectations of what the technological future will hold.

The next wave is expected to be wearable technology.

Week 1: Introduction to innovation

Advances like the Apple iWatch exemplify this move.

Apple's iWatch was launched early this year. Photo source.

Apple’s iWatch was released early this year. Photo source.

But what does this mean for online journalism?

Well, I expect the core conventions to remain unchanged, such as news values and accessibility, but adaptations will surely be necessary for any journalist’s content to be able to thrive on someone’s wrist.

Condensing headlines and teasers will be a must to fit in the constricted space.

Enabling the same viewing experience of multimedia embedded in stories will undoubtedly be a challenge, again because of the screen resolution.

Innovate or die.

Week 1: Introduction to innovation

This certainly is ringing true with journalism moving out of the physical newsroom and into the online domain.

And it will inevitably ring true for future advances in information technology.


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