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Journalism Predictions from a Journalism Student

Social Networking sites will become credible sources and openly available to newsrooms…
It’s no surprise that in the future, social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, will become places where people go to get news, and in some cases, search for facts to back-up claims. But, I have a notion that news station will one day be allowed to obtain administrative-type accounts on these social networking sites that will allow them to pry into people’s Facebook or Twitter accounts to find out more about them or to find out more about an incident. This is evident with the Arizona Tucson shooting. The suspected shooter, Jared Loughner’s MySpace and YouTube accounts were removed because people were flocking to it for evidence of the shooting. Granted his page was not exactly set to private. It is still in my opinion, an example of how news stations and journalists are turning to personal social networking profiles to find information.

Employment openings will become slim in newsrooms, due to contributions (videos, photos) from the public (viewers).

Stemming from the effects of social networking sites, I believe that the ability for viewers to easily contribute their work to news stations will lead to decreases in employment openings in newsrooms. When you have viewers/reader taking their own photos and videos and them being able to contribute them to news stations- via Facebook pages for example- it knocks out the actual need for a photojournalist or video journalist. For example, FOX 2 KTVI’s Facebook page has many photos, news alerts and other beneficial information contributed free of charge, by “fans” a.k.a. the viewers. I believe that this, in the long run, will hurt future journalists who will enter into the field. They just won’t be needed. The producers and news directors won’t see the point in paying someone to do what thousands of people are gladly doing for free.

A Journalism Degree will not be a necessity for the news career field… Only an accessory. Experience is what will matter most. Therefore, anyone will be able to do it.

I could actually be taking a leap of faith of being wrong on this one, but I believe that it is so. It seems as if the world of news is putting more emphasis on having experience in the field, versus actually having a journalism degree and courses to back up the experience. As I struggle to find my spot as a broadcast reporter, I am finding more positions that are looking for people with actual newsroom experience, versus a journalism degree. Is that not experience as well? I found news anchors and reporters here in St. Louis that have had an abundance of experience in the career field, but no journalism degree. Browse through the list of small market news stations and check out some of the job opportunities at the small market level. One would think that being in the small market, stations would welcome entry-level journalists. But even they require at least 1 year of experience in the field. So is a journalism degree really a necessity? Or is experience beginning to overrun the power of a degree? For the future, I think it will show that experience is what will get future journalists hired. Not a degree.

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