In recent times journalism as a profession has experienced remarkable changes especially in the content and format. There have been hallmark changes in the relationship between a news source and its audience. In the past, a news affair would be likened to a lecture where emphasis would be on the newscaster with the audience having little or no participation in the process. Then if a listener or a viewer wanted to react to or criticise a program or a publication they would have to do so via a letter,which was the only available avenue and it would reach its destination weeks later.Nowadays however,watching news is like a conversation,a viewer can chip in at any moment and be part of the process.During last weeks episode of Larry Madowo's #Sidebar,a viewer blasted Danstan Omari,a panelist on the show.Via Twitter , he wondered why Danstan had a problem with Raila Odinga referring to some politicians as 'vifaranga' while he was comfortable referring to others as 'hawks'.That caught everyone on the show flat-footed then they exploded into laughter.
After dominating the mainstream media for a longtime,the end of an era for radio came in 1940 with the beginning of television.TV revolutionised the way people learnt about emerging trends.Before,people had been used to learning yesterday's news today.The day president Roosevelt died,TV had its viewers updated on that day helping TV gain popularity rapidly.The quick story updates by TV has resulted into slow newspaper turnover as readership continues dwindling day by day.Radio has decided to remain relevant by focusing on in depth analysis and human interest content.Journalism today is dynamic.Televised journalism includes making its programs spliced into videos that are then linked to websites like youtube,facebook,twitter $ personal sites.They also make sure to integrate multimedia components e.g videos,links,photos to almost every story.There are several factors that have changed the activities in a newsroom,they include;
⚫Cheap and highly advanced cameras and camcorders
⚫Free personal blogging and publishing programs
⚫Cell phone technology
⚫Global internet connectivity via wifi and satellite networks
All these factors are contributing to shaping the future of this profession.Multimedia storytelling experience is now richer than anything imaginable in the past.News outlets such as BBC,Reuters,AFP,Squawka,CNN now offer up-to-the-minute news updates about anything and anywhere in the world.Online news sites are taking the place of magazine services as electronics become more affordable and more complex with each coming day.
Before, it was said that a pen is mightier than a sword,now,what can you say about a microphone,a camcorder and a laptop in a wifi-hotspot?You can now learn photography from world-renowned professionals via youtube and upgrade your game.Smartphone photography is becoming the in thing so long you know the principles like composition and framing.One can also learn from the best apps available.Mobile journalism (mojo) is being used across radio,television,print and online media.All these media use mojo in similar ways but the emphasis is what varies.It is also possible to make a documentary using mobile tools like smartphones and DSLRs.For media and journalism students,having the right skills when you graduate are pivotal to securing your first job as a reporter.If you are already in the industry,then upskilling and learning new digital skills will greatly improve your career opportunities and potential.It will make you more independent and a confident storyteller.