Euro Journos Produce Original Content Online, But Train Themselves

In the media switch-up, journalists train themselves

Probably a surprise to no one, but a study cited today in states that European Journalists are producing more original content online, but have mostly self-taught themselves the relevant skills to do so.

Fully 67% of those journalists polled from the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Spain and Sweden said they taught themselves digital skills, whereas only one-in-nine received training from their media organizations.

Despite the above statistics, and the fact that the journalists feel great pressure to produce more content while facing down concerns about job and industry security, 84% of the journos polled said they were “as happy or happier” in their current roles.

And this fact speaks to something I’ve been saying for awhile now – that innovative narrative and evolving multimedia pieces offer something to both the journalist and the audience, and that these mutual benefits create a feedback loop between the two.

New, layered pieces allow journalists to explore stories in new ways – through visuals, sound design, text, video, etc. – and audiences are, in turn, freshly engaged by these pieces in ways that they have not been (lately) with the usual text-on-page model. This engagement brings audiences back to multimedia pieces (and finds new, web-savvy audiences) and, again, engages these audiences for news outlets.

However, the fact that these journalists are forced to train themselves to create these new / stronger relationships, and the fact that so few traditional media outlets are participating in networked journalism, speaks volumes about traditional media’s role in the evolving media landscape.

Which is to say, traditional media is clearly benefiting from new ideas and storytelling forms in journalism, but it is not doing an especially good job of fostering, stewarding or seeking out these new journalistic techniques.

This report also shows a trend that my own research as shown – that journalists, by and large, have a good sense of where things are going and are trying to lead the way, and are not to blame for most of the turmoil in the industry.

The full survey can be viewed here.

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