The Roles of Journalists in the Online Newsroom

With the ever-changing role of the journalist, it is becoming increasingly important to cover as many bases as possible within the realm of communications. Because of the diminishing demand for ink-on-paper, now is the time to strengthen another skill—be it web design, photography, social media, or mastering the Adobe Creative Suite—to best position yourself against the competition.

You don’t need to be an art major do explore the possibilities of design. Learn the basics; pad your resume. Start online, the resources are never-ending. If you are interested in mastering PhotoShop, check out for instructional videos and tutorials. Get your feet wet in the world of web design: explore the option of website templates—putting together a website is easier than you might have thought, you don’t actually have to spend the next 5 years locked in your basement studying HTML, Java, CSS, etc. Check out some amazing free templates. Make your first project to put your portfolio online.

And the best secret on the web (my favorite, at least!):– This website hand selects around 30 of very best design articles on the web each day (many of them relevant for the journalist), including everything from typography to blogging advice.

So ask yourself, what do you think the role of a journalist should include? How can you prepare yourself for your first job? What are you doing to set yourself apart from the next J-school grad? Don’t overwhelm yourself; start taking baby steps now to discover the possibilities. Read more about the changing roles of journalists.


2 responses to “The Roles of Journalists in the Online Newsroom

  1. Emily–I think you’ve managed to touch on a lot of really great points. And what a fabulous idea to go online and get the learning we all need to be up to par with what’s going on in the media world. Ironic, but essential, that we should have to go online to learn about how to be “online journalists,” et cetera.

    This is a really excellent blog and I think it touches on some major issues within the world of journalism. Bravo.

  2. Thanks for these links, Emily. Design-newz now added to my Google Reader…

    There really isn’t any excuse not to be at least familiar with many of these apps. Another great source of low-cost tutorials is And Adobe has free, extensive tutorials of all its products online. YouTube is also a good source for tutorials.

    The j-school is trying to get away from teaching the “button-pushing” of software, and focus instead on creating good content with the software. We want students to take more initiative for learning the software itself.

    Is that the right way to go?

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