Multimedia journalism: A look at the future of sportswriting
We talk about writing a lot on this blog, and writing well is always going to be a big part of being a successful journalist, or content creator, or whatever we’re going to be calling each other over the next few years.
But you’ve probably noticed we’re in the middle of a communications revolution. How people consume news, including sports news, has changed radically and is continuing to change. Just to name a couple of big changes, tablets and phones are increasingly where people get their sports news and information, and they’re demanding that that information be more visual in nature.
The sportswriter of the future—in fact, the sportswriter of the present—will be a multimedia producer, not just a writer. A variety of multimedia tools will be available to all Bleacher Report writers next year.
Poynter.org had an interesting live chat this week with Jennifer George-Palilonis, a professor of multimedia journalism at Ball State and the author of the new textbook “The Multimedia Journalist: Storytelling for Today’s Media Landscape.”
At one point in the chat, George-Palilonis agrees with a questioner that sportswriters are “ahead of the curve on the interactive news front,” speculating that sportswriters have more time to plan multimedia coverage than our counterparts covering unscheduled breaking news.
Another questioner asks if a recent push to get journalism-school students to learn to code is worthwhile. George-Palilonis’ answer is worth repeating:
There’s a HUGE market for journalists who know programming languages and can build new products and conceptualize novel design ideas for how news and information will be distributed in the future.
There’s also a huge market for journalists who can think visually, carefully analyze large amounts of data, and expertly use social media as a reporting tool.
Any time someone says, “There’s a huge market for journalists …” twice in the space of a few seconds, you probably ought to listen.