The UK’s three leading journalism training bodies have finally announced that they are to work together as part of a new ‘Joint journalism training council’.
The National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Broadcasting Journalism Training Council and the Periodicals Training Council – who have traditionally provided training for regional newspapers, broadcast journalists, and magazines respectively – have been encroaching on each others’ territories for a while as the industries converged.
It’s early days yet, but the statement doesn’t make encouraging reading for anyone with an interest in the potential of online journalism as a separate medium: the three “new skills and awareness that are and will be required of journalists aiming to work in multi platform news organisations” include:
“b. Developing ideas for repurposing and adding to print or broadcast news material for use on websites including the use of links, background material, writing for the website, the basics of search engine optimisation and use of basic content management systems. [my emphasis]
“c. Using video and audio equipment to produce content for websites and other platforms and publishing it.”
In other words, treating the website as a place to shovel – and possibly add to – content produced for another medium.
The statement does go on to say “It is recognised that this is not an exhaustive list”, but it’s not a promising start.
Is there a forum, then, for people who want to promote online journalism as a medium, separate from all other kinds of writing formats? If so, get in on the debate, don't stand on the sidelines and whinge that you're not involved! The point is convergence – journalism forms together, if you will, so I'm sure they'd welcome contributions from online sources too.
The online journalism blogosphere is probably that forum. As the 3 orgs mentioned grew out of separate industries, that's where their interests lie, but there are no orgs representing training for online-only publishers, and therein lies a weakness.
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Sigh. I’ll keep my thoughts to myself, but I’m sure you can guess them! ‘Sell-by date’ and ‘well-past’ are just the start …