Anastasia Shkitina, participant of the 2019 M100 YEJ Workshop on the future of mass media:
“In my point of view, innovative journalism is not a short-term adventure but a new language. Returning to the old ways is like returning to the Shakespeare’s or Lomonosov’s writing style. Unquestionably, we should know the classics but we don’t have to communicate using the old school manner. … Innovative journalism tends to be entertaining and this is not a bad characteristic but, on the contrary, a necessity of the 21st century. Therefore, journalists have to use new methods and formats to be in demand and to be effective”.
The youth don’t watch TV. I realized it several years ago when my documentary “Extreme lovers. Passing at maximum” was being broadcasted. Most of the people, who acted in that film, were waiting for it to get uploaded online while the series was being shown on TV first. So, they didn’t have an opportunity to watch its premiere.
Nowadays a quarter of the youth watch less TV on sets as they do online. According to these statistics, the advertising value of TV broadcasting is drastically decreasing (this year’s purchasing power dropped by 19% from 2018). Consequently, the channels are reducing the amount of original content as opposed to the Internet. Despite this fact, the existence of innovative journalism is definitely a point of hot debate. Some people call it a short-term adventure, but I cannot agree with this statement. In my opinion, it is a necessity of our century.
First of all, journalism follows its audience and basically absorbs the latest trends in society, namely social media. Due to the people’s preference of sharing the latest news instead of reading reports, mass media had to go online.
Secondly, the importance of citizen journalism should not be ignored. The audience is no longer a consumer but an active member of the media process because of setting the agenda. The citizen participation and the collaboration with the social media tools transformed publishing landscape in our age. Digital journalism compressed the time scales for reporters and changed the business model of making and selling news. Not long ago, even adherent to the highest ideals of objective and accountable journalism, BBC incorporated such controversial format as blogging as a new genre to the air.
Thirdly, digital journalism is expressed in storytelling. Due to the new technologies development there is a variety of different methods and formats of writing and shooting. For example, VR technology adapted to the journalism gives an opportunity to tell astory in a rich and elaborate manner. It’s more efficient due to its ability to bring reality just a little bit closer to the reader without superfluous words. To demonstrate I will give you a little example: a material of Vice on HBO about a refugee camp let us realize the scale of the Turkey’s largest refugee camp because of its VR effects and copter shooting. This technology is spread among such top media agencies as BBC, CNN, the New York Times.
In my point of view, innovative journalism is not a short-term adventure but a new language. Returning to the old ways is like returning to the Shakespeare’s or Lomonosov’s writing style. Unquestionably, we should know the classics but we don’t have to communicate using the old school manner. As an illustration, there is a historical journalistic project “1968. Digital” in Russia created byMikhail Zygar. The first mobile documentary series lets the youth learn some historical facts in an elaborate and familiar way. Innovative journalism tends to be entertaining and this is not a bad characteristic but, on the contrary, a necessity of the 21st century. Therefore, journalists have to use new methods and formats to be in demand and to be effective.
That’s why in my upcoming documentary “unknown Stalingrad” I use an innovative method called Screen Life created by the Russian Director Timur Bekmambetov. I want this project to appeal to the younger generation in particular, and not only to the adults who regularly watch TV as it is. Therefore, I try to speak the multilanguage words.
To sum up, I think that nothing has changed in journalism since it came into existence, except one thing – the time. Therefore, we need to answer the audience requirements including new mobility and new speed. And this is just the beginning.
About the author:
Anastasia Shkitina is an anchorwoman, a journalist and a producer with over seven years of working experience in various regional, national and international media companies. Her professional focus lies on the issues related to the ongoing ecological and social developments in and historical researches on her home country. With her interest in the evolution of the society, Anastasia authored several documentary projects about downshifters, fans of the extreme sport types and former soldiers. She currently continues her media education at the Russian State Social University.