The new roles for journalists in a multimedia world

Tom RosenstielTom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, had some old news for the science journalists at the Knight science journalism symposium in Boston.

The role of the journalist is changing in an age where the old metaphor of gate-keeping no longer applies, he told them. This is pretty obvious. More interesting is a discussion of the new roles for journalists.

Rosenstiel outlined four potential roles:

  • Authenticator: Help the audience figure out what to believe, what can they trust
  • Sense-maker: Help the audience derive meaning from what is happening in the world
  • Navigator: Help the audience find their way around a story, point them to the “good stuff”
  • Forum-leader: Help the audience engage in a discussion in a knowledgeable way

Journalists should be doing some of these things anyway, such as authenticating facts. And making sense is a key role of the journalist. A story without meaning is worthless.

Interestingly, one of the questions from the audience was whether they should link to the sources mentioned in a story, worried that they would be driving readers away from the article.

The thing is, people are going to go to those links anyway. As Rosenstiel pointed out, providing these links adds value to your work and builds up the role of a journalist as navigator.

I have said this before, and Rosenstiel mentioned it in his talk – journalism is shifting from being a a product to a service and, with this, a news outlet shifts from being a final destination to being part of a network.

To survive and flourish in this digital world, journalists need to adapt and evolve. These new roles are a good starting point for a discussion on the future of journalism.

12 Comments

  • [...] The new roles for journalists in a multimedia world nennt Alfred Hermida die Zusammenfassung eines Vortrags, den Tom Rosenstiel (Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism) in Boston gehalten hat. Dabei stellte dieser vier Rollen vor, die ein Journalist in der multimedialen Welt zu erfüllen habe: * Authenticator: Help the audience figure out what to believe, what can they trust * Sense-maker: Help the audience derive meaning from what is happening in the world * Navigator: Help the audience find their way around a story, point them to the “good stuff” * Forum-leader: Help the audience engage in a discussion in a knowledgeable way [...]

  • [...] avançou quatro potenciais novos papéis para o [...]

  • [...] example, Alfred Hermida’s blogs from the Knight Science Journalism Symposium painted pictures of new-media champions lecturing to old-world reporters squirming in their seats and asking [...]

  • [...] Rosenstiel, director del Proyecto para la Excelencia en Periodismo, mantiene que el periodismo está dejando de ser un producto para convertirse en un servicio, y de ahí [...]

  • [...] The new roles for journalists in a multimedia world [...]

  • [...] Probably the best answer I have read comes from Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, in a talk he have to science journalist at the Knight science journalism symposium in Boston (as captured by reportr.net blogger Alfred Hermida) [...]

  • [...] há sempre mais dados que surgem que podem ajudar a melhorar a compreensão dos factos. Por isso faz parte das novas funções do jornalista alimentar, recolher e filtrar o diálogo que agora existe com os utilizadores, e incorporá-lo no resultado [...]

  • [...] is always  more data that can help to improve the understanding of the facts. So, it’s  part of the role of the journalist to feed, gather and filter the dialogue that now is sustained with the users, and incorporate it in the final [...]

  • December 5, 2008

    Joseph M.S.V. Fomolu

    First, journalists have to try to learn the new tools of multimedia news disinformation.

    Second, they should thrive to always be on top of situations to report the news immediately as it happens in their areas of responsibility.

  • [...] Rosenstiel, the director of the Project for excellence in Journalism reccomends 4 ways in which journalists can mold themselves around this new structure. He sees a need for journalists [...]

  • [...] role of the journalist is as aggregator and authenticator rather than original reporter. Quoting Tom Rosenstiel, Hermida describes the still-important role of the journalist as “a sense-maker to derive [...]

  • [...] role of the journalist is as aggregator and authenticator rather than original reporter. Quoting Tom Rosenstiel, Hermida describes the still-important role of the journalist as “a sense-maker to derive [...]