I had the good fortune to attend the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention recently in New Orleans. It is always rewarding to reconnect and network with peers while acquiring new knowledge regarding industry trends and emerging technologies. Hats off, to the NABJ management team for a stellar conference.
Unfortunately, however, this year there was a dark cloud hovering over the convention. As many of you know, newspapers and other print mediums have been struggling to survive with the ascension of on-line/social media. Just recently, the New Orleans daily newspaper –The Times-Picayune, laid-off one-third of its staff and announced that it will only publish three editions per week. Many of our print journalists, on solid career tracks, have been downsized or forced out of their positions at some of the country’s most prominent daily newspapers
These days, news junkies, rely heavily on the internet as their preferred “source” for news and information. Social media, the nucleus of the information “Super Highway” is moving at record speed and provides a “new frontier” for print journalist. Fortunately, there are great online options. Websites such as The HuffingtonPost, thegrio and AOL/BlackVoices to name a few, are credible and reputable news sites that uphold the standard journalistic creed and code of ethics. Some innovative thinking print journalists have turned to blogging with interesting sites and subject matter.
While in most circles the daily newspaper is no longer viewed as the “authority”, print journalists should not lose heart. To all of the “truth-seekers” Do Not Fret! There will always be a place, space and voice for your profession! Embrace and engage social media. It offers you a new and viable platform to tell your stories, your way and in your voice. Keep an open mind. We long to hear your voice. And yes, we’re still listening.