Yesterday, I presented a five-minute lightning talk at the Center for Collaborative Journalism on what I’m tentatively calling the “post-platform” journalist. From “print journalist”, to “data journalist”, to “multimedia journalist” and even to “social journalist,” it seems as though the qualifiers that often get placed before the word “journalist” abound in almost cliche numbers. Each of these “types” of journalism typically seek to clarify the platform in which the individual tells the story rather than the content of the story itself. But in an era of information abundance and the democratization of publishing, we’ve seen the rapid rise of almost limitless numbers of platforms that require a range of almost limitless skills.
Journalism as a discipline has also expanded beyond traditional industrialized roles to encompass nontraditional forms of community information-dissemination and engagement, including community bloggers, content marketing experts, data scientists and entrepreneurs.
Hence why I think it’s time we get past the notion of “platforms.” Instead of terms such as “cross-platform journalist” or “multimedia journalist,” it now seems more appropriate to ditch the qualifiers altogether for a term that reflects the single overarching goal of all journalists: To focus on telling the story in the most effective way possible, and not get caught up with the platforms from which we tell them.