100 articles – ‘The shot heard ’round the industry. Backpack journalism on the rise’

4 May 2010

Written by: Matt de Neef

‘The shot heard ’round the industry. Backpack journalism on the rise’ by Gail Shister

One of the reasons I chose journalism as my area of professional study was that it had a subversive appeal while fulfilling a romantic concern to do some good for the world. Really, how hard could it be?

There has been much talk about new media, about how you have to learn different computer programs, start a blog, use ‘Twitter’ (what only birds used to do), and network (online and offline). In her Mediabistro article, Gail Schister metaphorically replaces the old, tingling buzz in your ear with the bee’s sting.

Indeed, with the rise of backpack journalism, journalists must now be as diligent as bees. But what if they are capable of multi-tasking news production. Will news be robbed of its quality? Given that all the responsibility for writing, editing, production and arrangement will be placed in a single pair of hands, will the output be superior to amateur videos that networks routinely air?

Things will be missed, not just elements of traditional media but those ingredients of a news item you were too busy to include while juggling three tasks! All is not lost though: if the old birds can persevere, what’s to stop us aspiring journalists?