Digital skills journalists work across a variety of mediums to inform and engage audiences. They research and write news stories and feature articles, liaise with editors, photographers and designers and may also be required to work on radio and television. They also have a good understanding of current events and trends and tailor their content so that it is more relevant to their audience.
Reporting, libel and privacy laws are a major concern for all journalists, but this is particularly the case for digital journalists. Creating content that is not in line with these guidelines can land them in trouble and could even lead to fines or prosecution.
Media consumption is changing rapidly and so is the way that journalists are expected to deliver their work. The ability to adapt to these changes and develop new skills will ensure that you continue to have a successful career in the future.
Having the digital skills to succeed in this changing landscape is vital, as it means that you can be confident that you will have access to the tools you need to produce engaging, informative and accurate journalism.
Data analysis and visualisation: A key skill for all journalists, whether they are working on TV or the internet, is the ability to interpret data and use it in meaningful ways. This can be through presenting figures or data in an eye-catching way, or by making it interactive to help readers learn more about a story they might not have been aware of before.
Interviewing and behavioural data analytics: Developing an understanding of how people respond to different types of news content can be essential for digital journalists, who are often required to develop new content to suit different platforms and target audiences. This can include live streaming video or transforming a spreadsheet into an eye-catching visualization for a website.
Multimedia storytelling and editing: Using audio, video and images to create compelling multimedia news pieces is becoming increasingly common. This means that knowing how to produce and edit your own audio, video and graphics will be a necessity for all modern journalists.
Online marketing and social media management: Having the skills to manage your own social media accounts and create content for these platforms is an important part of any digital journalist’s job. This includes developing and managing social media campaigns, creating content that will attract an audience and ensuring that the content you post is engaging and interesting.
Investigations: Investigative reporting is a core journalism skill, as it helps protect individuals and society from harmful practices. Whether it’s uncovering tax evasion or predatory lending, investigations can be invaluable in protecting people from injustice and driving change.
Creative and conceptual thinking: The ability to think critically about how different forms of digital storytelling can connect with your target audience is an important aspect of being a digital journalist. This is crucial to keeping your stories fresh and appealing and ensuring that your content stays ahead of the competition.