From the Editor
As some may know, in addition to my work as editor of the school’s newspaper, I am also the news director at WHFR (www.whfr.fm), HFCC’s non-commercial radio station. While I have been fascinated by the news format—including television, radio and print—for as long as I can remember, working in radio and print simultaneously, two very different animals, has given me the opportunity to view the world of journalism from an especially unique perspective.
On the one hand, we are all aware of the impending doom associated with anything print, newspapers included. Ask someone in media in what direction the print newspaper is going, and a common response includes a wry smile, a shake of the head, a bit of a chuckle and some form of the notion that “the sky is falling.” In fact, at College Press Day this year keynote speaker Tony Dearing, former editor of the Flint Journal and current chief content officer for AnnArbor.com, stated emphatically: “Journalism is not dead!” But it is, he said, changing dramatically, and he feels the change is for the better.
Dearing went into detail regarding the various ways the Internet makes journalism, specifically news delivery, more dynamic than ever in its history. He spoke about the growing demand for content, including breaking news and constantly updated existing stories, and how this dramatic shift in the journalism model will continue to create many, many opportunities in the industry.
The future looks incredibly bright, he said, and you know what? I believe him.
On the other hand, radio has seemingly always been in danger. From television in the early years to iPods more recently to whatever the future invents, radio is continually threatened yet continually perseveres. What about the relatively recent trend in print journalism toward embracing technology and consciously establishing an online presence? Well, we may have noticed the very same trend in radio, and shifting job descriptions in the industry, as well.
My good friend Amy, for example, joined our college radio station with an extensive background in photo journalism and a desire to be on the air in a news/talk format. Before long we were co-hosting a weekly public affairs show, a working relationship that lasted more than a year, and teamed up frequently to fill various open spots in the station’s program schedule. So it was really no surprise when Amy was offered an internship at a popular local news station, followed by an actual job offer.
What job was Amy, whose photos have appeared in major newspapers around the country and whose on-air skills are above average, ultimately offered? She now gets paid to write news copy for the station’s website, and is having more fun than she ever imagined.
The point is that Amy’s job did not even exist at that particular news station until a just few years ago—a fairly reliable indication of radio’s wonderful ability to adapt—and she said that other, similar positions will be available soon. The various forms of media are merging, creating an abundance of new opportunities, and according to Amy, the future does indeed look very bright.
You know what? I believe her.