A New Type of Journalism

By Bria Dickerson (JAC 310 assignment for Prof. Waltz)

New age journalists are changing the narrative on how people view the news. Though journalists are still writing stories and submitting them to newspapers; some journalists are taking an uncommon path to tell stories using "non-traditional journalism."

Today's non-traditional journalists can share stories through podcasts, on a YouTube channel, or through social media. These new and innovative platforms are freeing journalists to find a new route to share stories.

"Non-traditional journalism to me is finding a way to tell stories and communicate information using techniques and mediums that are fairly new and were not popular a couple of generations ago," said Jeremy Price, the Senior Editor at Next Big Idea Club.

Price, who considers himself a non-traditional journalist has experienced firsthand what it is like to use an unconventional way of telling stories.

At the Next Big Idea Club, Jeremy is responsible for interviewing authors, writing scripts for video content, and curating content to post for the company's website and app.

"Non-traditional journalism was a gradual learning process," Price said. "You can write, report, or make videos about anything on the planet that interests you. That is all within the scope of non-traditional journalism."

Because of the growing assortment of media, jobs in the traditional newsroom for a newspaper company are evolving into jobs in the digital media field.

From 2008 to 2019, newsroom employment dropped by nearly a quarter, from 114,000 to about 88,000, according to the Pew Research Center.

Meanwhile, employment in the digital native news sector has doubled, from 7,400 workers to 16,100 workers in 2019.

One reason is the loss of advertising dollars from newspapers.

"Facebook and Google are sucking up all the ad dollars," Price said. "Newspapers are going to struggle. We are going to see a lot of closing of local newspapers."

New journalistic media companies, such as Vice, have extended their content to different platforms, like HBO, Vice Magazine, and Vice's website. But the company still struggles to bring in revenue in an ever-changing industry as it seeks a new business model for news.

To ride this new wave, journalists should not only write well, but also know how to edit a video, design a graphic for Instagram, and record audio.

"Media and journalism are changing so quickly there is an increase in demand of people who can do it all," Price said.

Though this is a growing field and opportunities abound takes time to break through.

In this field, journalists have to build their portfolio before a big opportunity can break. Taking smaller risk projects as a freelance writer/ producer will prove to bigger companies that an up and comer is the right journalist for the job.

All this comes with a price. Or hardly a price at all. Non-traditional journalists usually get paid little for their efforts at first, unless they can find a company to sponsor them.

"When I was working for the rock band website, I only got paid $100 for about 12 stories," Price said. "But it did build my resume."

Being a journalist in this day and age calls for flexibility and being able to find your own niche as a journalist, but most importantly, a storyteller.

"In order to be a successful journalist, you must have a high tolerance of risk and failure," Price said. "But also, you must be curious and indulge in that curiosity.

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