On Embracing Technology, or, Being a Young Journalist

By: Tom Naples, Guest Gen J Blogger

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it’s like being a young journalist and embarking on a journalism career. I have an internship, I write and edit for a local weekly, and I Tweet obsessively. So what? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of others out there just like me, against whom I’ll be competing for entry-level jobs at a declining number of publications and news outlets.

I just stumbled across this Atlantic Wire piece titled “What Do Young Journalists Have to Worry About?” The answer–technology. I take exception to this because I believe technology, especially social media, is the future of journalism and, as a young journalist, it’s my responsibility to embrace it. This past week’s #muckedup chat (recap here) addressed the future of journalism and the running theme was that technology and social media are it. With the rising popularity of platforms like Storify, RebelMouse, and Storination (the latter two are still in beta; disclaimer: I’m still figuring these platforms out) I can’t help but see journalism heading in this direction.

So, how can young journalists like myself set ourselves apart? By embracing technology. By networking with other young journalists and asking lots of questions of older ones. Here’s a list of suggestions for recent J-School graduates from Nieman Lab.

What’s next for me? Well, I’m graduating in December, so I’ll be applying to jobs and j-school soon.

I’m building a list of young journos on Twitter, check it out here.

What do you think about technology and the future of journalism? Please, Tweet me or comment below.

This post was first published on Tom’s website: http://thomasnaples.com/.

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  • I wrote a post analyzing the gap between journalism education and the changing journalism profession, and you may want to check the list of essential skills that are recommended by pros at a conference last month.

    As with many teach-savvy reporters, you may need to learn some tools and technologies via DIY, or choose a master’s program that touches upon the specific skills.


  • The future is definitely technology based. I wouldn’t be surprised if colleges or even high schools started online newspapers in the future, which wouldn’t be an awful idea. I didn’t seriously consider journalism as a career until recently. I took a break after four years of newspaper writing in high school but I was inspired to return and now I feel overwhelmed with so many different ways of sharing information. If you’re going to consider journalism as a career, it’s important to at least have knowledge of how to use the social sites that exist and keep track of those that are on the way.

    Also, since I’m young, I feel pressure to understand how to use all types of technology (WordPress, Pinterest, Photoshop) and be able to figure out anything with a computer. So on top of being a stand out writer, you also have to be creative with delivery in many different forms.

  • Sonya Singh

    Hi Tom,

    My thoughts are in unison with what you have expressed in this article. I think news reaches much faster on the web these days. Facebook being an exemplary platform. Who would have thought years ago that a simple networking platform will experience a boom and become an outlet to convey a myriad of information from events & RSVP’s to celebrity news and personalised pages. Journalists of tomorrow better quip themselves with all that there is to know about cyber journalism. It will play a phenomenal role.



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