By Una Murphy
We are all publishers and journalists now, at least we have the tools and technology at our disposable to tells stories and share them with an audience and get feed-back. I have had the opportunity to work with 3rd sector and public sector organisations over the last couple of years on the learning that the @VIEWdigital co-founders have acquired in digital media since setting up our community journalism online platform and publishing VIEW social affairs magazine.
We are also delighted to host other media professionals to deliver their courses. Queries have ranged from telling stories via Twitter and Facebook to producing Infographics to taking digital photographs and producing video using iPads and iPhones as well as Digital SLRs.
I see the skills I learned working as a newspaper reporter and a TV and radio producer now being incorporated into the work load of Communications, Research, and Policy teams in big public sector organisations as well as staff of small charities trying to win campaigns.
Journalism has always involved digesting the research, communicating an interesting story to an engaged audience while contextualizing the policy into the narrative by jargon busting. The maxim ‘keep it simple stupid’ to make complex stories understandable to the biggest audience possible is a useful one to remember when producing and publishing digital media.
Also I think, despite being a writer first and foremost, that visual ‘trumps’ text. I know from ‘grazing’ on Twitter that I will stop to read a post with an image that attracts my attention. Digital media seems to me to be a mixture of the traditional print and broadcasting media; articles on digital channels now have advisory notices about how long it will take to read them. The time that people have to produce interesting stories for digital channels and also the time that people have to ‘consume’ that media is very short indeed.
Which brings me to my last point. I am in favour of Continuous Professional Development and have learned so much in moving from writing newspaper articles to producing TV and radio programmes and transitioning to digital media. I have attended courses and in-house training run by Nesta, RTE, BBC, IADT and learned loads from work colleagues. I think staff who are being increasing asked to produce content should ask the organisations they work for to ensure they get the training they need to do it properly and negotiate enough time when back in the workplace to ‘hone’ their new found skills and – what one of our training associates calls – ‘muscle memory’.
VIEWdigital has updated its website training section and produced a new training brochure which can be viewed in our latest ezine Please have a look and it you need any help with media training give me a call. And as it has taken you about two minutes and a half minutes to read this article – I hope you have stuck with me to the end!