Journalists, editors, and writers may not need to know how to make software or assemble and maintain hardware, but the rise of the Internet and related technology has made it necessary for media folk to “get into tech.” There’s much to learn about distribution platforms as well as modes of content-sharing and content ownership brought about by the Web that was not anticipated by the old journalism or mass communication curricula; there may be a bit of catching-up to do. This is not to say, though, that “classic” editorial skills are out the window. Specialized skills remain valued and valuable through time. Like other professionals, those in media just need to understand and manage changes in the world and career environment that are taking place.
Here’s what our week’s favorites have to say on these themes:
- Journalism schools should equip future media practitioners with the right skills to “work intelligently on platforms that will carry their work,” says Cindy Royal, Texas State University professor. If you’re into media and would like to find out if you are “tech” enough, check out Ms. Royal’s 10-question checklist with links to resources — books and other readings included — that you should know about.
- Is journalism at its twilight or new dawn? Catch up on the latest research in the field, including the Picard study that discusses how newer media institutions are “creating new mechanisms of power and a new class of elites influencing content.”
- Twenty-first-century editing may be quite different from what the profession was in the 1950s, but the ability to “cut through the fog of falsehood,” as author Craig Silverman puts it, is a skill that sets copyeditors apart.
- If you’re a writer dreading an editor’s “eagle eyes,” breathe easy. An editor is just a colleague who is there to help you “get it right.” Notes from editor Jim Dempsey and writer John Kaag.
- Do you sometimes have to drag yourself to work? Perhaps you’re feeling disengaged or trapped? There are reasons you have these feelings and there are ways to overcome them. Perhaps it’s just that careers have actually changed in recent generations, and our task as professionals is to learn to manage these changes, or at least reflect on our work and performance.
Ditto is a fortnightly selection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.