There is a changing face of Journalism and the BBC has to keep up with it. This appeared to be one of David’s main points at his recent talk at Coventry University. David Hayward runs the BBC College of Journalism’s (CoJo) Journalism Programme, which includes a number of events, discussions, debates and master classes. He spoke in a Coventry Conversation about what the College of Journalism do and how the BBC is trying to keep up with new media.
He began the talk by describing how there is a changing face of Journalism and then asked the question as to what sort of journalist will succeed in the future. Is it the new age journalist who is multi – skilled and can use multi – platform or is it the traditional journalist which David referred to as the: “Old school hack.” It is a battle of technology versus a nose for a story. David then answered his question saying that he thinks the truth lies somewhere in between. We can’t abandon traditional journalist but we must keep up with the new age of journalism.
Justifying the idea of traditional journalism, David said: “The most important skill a journalist can have is being able to find a story that people don’t know about, being able to verify that story and then being able to tell that story to an audience.” This all sounds like something that could be done without new media and indeed it is but that doesn’t mean new media is pointless.
Written by Alex Maidment
There is a changing face of news because of new media. Where the BBC’s competition used to be broadcasters, they are now in competition with print journalism as everyone has a website with videos, text and interactive information, the same as the BBC. David reminisced back to a time when: “All the time we were terrified.” Referring to the idea that websites and 24-hour news was taking over and the BBC was losing viewers because at the time they didn’t have a 24-hour television channel. It made it seem as if new media was taking over. But this still wasn’t the case.
David explained that the audience for traditional media is still there as the BBC radio channels were gaining listeners. He described how it is a strange time for the BBC with both their traditional and new media constantly gaining listeners. This strange time also linked in with the big BBC move where all the news and lots of radio is moving to a new site W1 whilst a lot of the BBC is moving to their new site in Salford, Manchester.
One of the main messages with the changing face of journalism is that you’ve got to engage in new platforms for journalism. There are constantly new contenders in the media world including private online blogs. David mentioned that data and data journalism are increasingly important in mainstream organisations in the media.
Having talked about how the media world is rapidly changing, David spoke a little about how the BBC is changing to fit in with this new world and described how the BBC are using interactive journalism online. They are telling stories with data which is really fascinating with interactive maps involving videos and information.
Moving on, David talked a little bit about the BBC College of Journalism and what they do. The basic idea is to pass on the skills needed to be a good journalist. This may sound simple but David explained that the inspiration came from how journalists used to learn – from their colleagues. That is exactly what BBC CoJo is; it is tips from journalists for up and coming journalists. It covers just about everything from ethics and values to politics and law. It is an extremely valuable tool for journalists!