New Media Forces Journalists to Adapt to Changes

November 25, 2015

Olivet School of Media and Communication staff recently attended an event in Washington, D.C., where the hosts of the two highest rated and longest airing public affairs programs discussed the change from traditional media to new media.

With print publications thinning out in recent decades, Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” and John Dickerson of CBS’ “Face the Nation” were asked on “The Kalb Report” how they are essentially holding onto audiences and adapting to the change.

Todd noted that he is very comfortable on the new media platform and said it’s crucial to diversify how one talks to his or her audience.

“I benefited from the Internet age … I watched this in real time and I watched people in our business turn up their nose at those platforms. I got my first break writing on politics because people at The Washington Post didn’t want to write for the Internet …. people at Newsweek didn’t want to do it,” said Todd during the Nov. 9 discussion.

“So one of the things that I think is important for us is not to be a snob about platforms, not to be a snob about where people get information. Go to where people are at, getting their information. I think that is a way to prevent [from] happening to television shows what happened to newspapers.”

Dickerson stressed the importance of being authentic on the new media platforms, noting that inauthenticity can be easily sniffed out by audiences.

Knowing one’s audience is also crucial, the hosts insisted. And having a well-educated audience is beneficial as they can connect other people to the news programs through social media and other networks.

As for how their newsrooms are operated, both hosts said it’s a collaborative effort and that their shows are not controlled by one person.

“It’s a team,” said Dickerson. “We reason together.”

OSMC is responding to the changes in the media landscape by reviewing its courses, including the Newsroom Management course. This course is aimed at teaching students how to manage teams and projects and make editorial decisions in a professional news environment. It includes the study of organization, operation and administration of the departments of a newsroom, such as advertising, business, circulation, news-editorial, personnel, production and promotion.

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