What’s your function?

If you’re like me, your sense of what journalism is — and what your role as a journalist is — has changed since you decided to pursue a degree in it.

And honestly, your sense of journalism ought to remain very flexible as the information ecosystem continues to change and then change again.

To paraphrase Ferris Bueller: “(Journalism) moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Arguably, we mainstream media folks have missed a lot. Too often, we’ve been like a cartoon character chasing the train and managing just barely to grab ahold of the caboose.

If we are to have any hope of getting back on that train, I think reader engagement is a big part of the solution.

Joy Mayer will be joining us in class tomorrow to talk about reader engagement, which is
her specialty. I like this post from her blog, inspired by a talk Tom Rosenstiel gave at a conference recently. Please read it, and think about it. Oh, and engage with it.

Which of these functions have you performed in your reporting this summer?


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2 Responses to What’s your function?

  1. jonasweir says:

    Writing for Vox, I think that our main function is Community Building. We put together a magazine to share what’s happening in the community. Whether its music, arts, or books we try to get people involved and informed about events and new media in Columbia. One other function I’ve definitely served was the Authenticator. When I did my life story, I was informing the public of the death of someone involved in the community and verifying the truth of it. Community building, however, is definitely the function I’m most interested in, especially the music community. I participate in music forums and blogs online and I think music journalism is mainly a community building functions. From Spin Magazine to Pitchfork.com to file sharing program to local zines kids put out in small music communities, I’m finding it very how community building among music fans is constantly evolving and taking new forms.

  2. donbaik says:

    As Joy said, we, journalists are not people anymore who controls their community with news.
    Nowadays, we are the group of people who help the public share accurate facts and information in their community. In addition to this, citizens are getting into the journalism by themselves through social network service such as Twitter and Facebook. As wee see the cases of Tunisian revolution, people used social networks or social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to prove why the revolution was required for their country and what things people had done to change their country. Nowadays, the border between journalists and readers is ambiguous. Readers, citizens, community people or the public can be journalists any time whenever they have something newsworthy. They can tell their story on Facebook, Twitter,and they can even post videos on YouTube.

    Therefore, we, journalists should always recognize that we cooperate with people to inform more new stories and newsworthy stories based on facts and accuracy.

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