Szymon Turcza-Jurczyński, a participant of the 2019 M100 YEJ Workshop, elaborates on his practical experience of introducing innovations into his day-by-day work:
“Journalists entrusted to deliver stories and expain complexity of issues are closer than ever to anyone following the news. People on both sides of this relation are still the most vital element in the process of projecting a credible image and directing the news. This all happens and is visible now not despite, but because of the major technological advances that shift the media sphere in the XXI century and is likely to become even more important in the years to come”.
The development of technology in XXI century drasticly changed the way people consume and look for information. For the new generation of media and entertainment users, with phone in their pockets and daily internet access, the choice of content is almost unlimted. The others adapt and hence both news agencies and readers find themselves in an environment characterised by abundance of choice and desprate struggle for people’s attention. State borders disappear, regulations ease and the focus of media platforms often shifts from particular areas (like local affairs) into larger spectrum with wide varieties of topics.
Further advances in technology and its adoption for the use of media organisations also plays more and more important role in analytics: companies learn about the popularity of the stories and make decisions based on readers retention. Thanks to this, as well as growing attention of international agencies, NGO’s and the Academics, we now find ourselves in a spot where the answer to the question “how will the media and news journalism look in the future?” is much more complex and can be based on evidence and studies of unprecedented scale.
When it comes to news coverage, deciding where to take your information from is now more than ever a question of who wins the trust. Credibility of the paper, website or agency is a major factor and for many is still the very basis on which to make one’s choices, when looking for reliable information. In the news business struggle for attention is important and must be accepted as means of staying alive, but without the main focus being on building credible and reliable image, agencies are doomed to fail and lose readers. Throughout this large landscape of data there is one common theme, that is especially important and lies at the heart of trends and shifts we can currently observe.
Study after study shows that in the very centre of this struggle to project a reliable image, are journalists. There is no algorythm nor formula that can substitute for the reader-reporter relation and there is no data that can direct news company better than charismatic editorial, willing to cover issues crucial for the community they answer to. That being said, technology provides journalists with plenty of ways to reach their readers as well as influence them and spark discussions. One’s presence in the social media and activity on-line, reactions and responses to the changing media climate, can be as important as the work on the stories in the office. Organising editorial Questions&Answers live sessions, introducing community focused programmes on video and sound streaming platforms, puting mandatory minimums on reporters on-line activity (like the minimum of 5 tweets a week or obligatory instagram accounts) are all viable means of building a relation with the audience that quickly become a standard policy in most major news agencies.
Journalists entrusted to deliver stories and expain complexity of issues are closer than ever to anyone following the news. People on both sides of this relation are still the most vital element in the process of projecting a credible image and directing the news. This all happens and is visable now not despite, but because of the major technological advances that shift the media sphere in the XXI century and is likely to become even more important in the years to come.
About the author:
Szymon Turcza-Jurczyński combines his journalism education at the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, with the collecting of professional experience in various media outlets. He works as the editor-in-chief at a local newspaper and collaborate closely with major local broadcasters, like Radio Kraków and Jagiellonian University Media, and multiple academic and news platforms. Szymon’s professional aim is the improvement of local public discourse, as he is striving to set up an international platform for journalism using the power of podcasting.