By Emily Tozer
Magazine journalism is changing as we speak. No longer do editors assign a simple print story. Now they have to think about web, iPad, mobile and even eBook editions. These new platforms provide many opportunities: links, video and interactive elements that can add to a story in a way that print is unable to do. But how many of us know how to do that yet?
In an article on Mashable, one editor said she worries about how much she currently relies on freelancers.
“I’m really trying to train my staff and keep those marketable people from going elsewhere,” said Dana Points of Parents and American Baby.
I’m not going to turn this into a classic sob-journalism-student story about how much I love print magazines (a lot) and how I’ll continue to prefer them to online editions (I will) because I truthfully believe that magazines’ audiences are loyal enough that print editions aren’t going anywhere. My concern is that those of us in school now are going to graduate before this works its way into our curriculum and by the time we are looking for jobs, we’ll be expected to know it.
I find slight comfort in the fact that the world of journalism is always changing and we have managed to keep up with it thus far. I bet when magazines first started using the Internet there were a few students panicking about having to learn to use it while also adapting to their first jobs.
“You have to prove to people that you’re willing to learn new things,” said Michael Corey, a Drake graduate who is now a digital innovations editor at the center for investigative reporting. “There’s always so much going on; if you’re not learning all the time, you’re not that valuable.”
Another blog that wrote about the pros and cons of iPad magazines noted that the “bulky” iPad edition of Wired was “packed with interactive goodies.”
These “interactive goodies” are what we need to add to our list of things to think about when we’re working on an article. I think blogging experience will help us develop these skills rather quickly. It’s no iPad edition, but we do consider how our text will look online.
Do you feel confident that you’ll be able to create web, iPad, mobile and eBook components to a story? When do you think these skills will start being taught in the college classroom? What other components of online journalism are you apprehensive about having to use in the real world without learning them in school?
Photo by Long Nguyen.