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Online News – The changing role of the journalist

The news environment is changing and so are the role if journalists. New news formats are emerging and news organizations must deliver their content on multiple platforms to be able to cater for their audience. It’s been a move in society from ‘offer-focused demand’ to ‘demand-focused production’. This means that earlier the media organizations had the power and could produce what they thought was “the best” content. But now, this has changed and the consumers are the once in charge and the media organizations have to cater for their consumers’ needs and wishes.

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A more active audience has emerged from this changing news environment. Consumers don’t just want to read the news anymore, a lot of them also want to comment on the news they are consuming. They want to engage in a more active way than earlier. Many use their mobile phones to comment either on news websites or via Twitter and Facebook.

Blogs are another good example of how the news audience has changed from being passive to becoming active. Many non-professional journalists as well as professional journalists blogs. They comment on the current issues that is important to them. Grog’s Gamut is an example of a blog like this, written by a public servant in Australia. Here is an other example of a blog but this is written by a Sydney Morning Herald property journalist.

The role of the journalist is increasingly becoming more of a assisting role in the publishing process. Often journalists have to facilitate and assist media users, so they can produce content for them. More and more journalists are only putting together content received from their audience. Some journalists don’t even producing content themselves anymore. They have more of an editing role in the whole production process. A good example of audience generated content is ABC OPEN.

Sky News has a TV news service called Sky News Active which they launched in 2004. This was the world’s first interactive TV news service. It has eight different screens which each covers a subject like sport, news, showbiz, weather etc.

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