Innovations in Journalism: Educating the MMJ
Eileen Teves DBA, University of the Incarnate Word (United States)
Annette E. Craven, University of the Incarnate Word (United States)
Social media has transformed television news, and the stakeholders most impacted are the journalists who were educated prior to the emergence of the multimedia journalist, or MMJ. Technology is woven into the very fabric of our daily lives. We use our smart phone alarm to awake in the morning, check Facebook for breaking news, use the calendar to review our daily schedule, instant message or text our colleagues or friends and family, and access entertainment (movies, television, radio, favorite music) anywhere there is a wifi signal. Information is instantaneously available, and news is only as far away as the time it takes to snap a smartphone picture and upload it to the airwaves. Social media has had a tremendous impact on the workload of television journalists, and the use of social media triggered concerns for the quality and accuracy of content. Results from this study explained the need to understand a changing business model, the potential for news to go wrong, and the rise of multimedia journalism.
The MMJ covers both the broadcast and digital sides of media, operating as a solo reporter who shoots, edits, and reports (Perez & Cremadas, 2014). Interview responses related to the topic of the MMJ. TV journalists expressed concerns of doing more work with less time and compensation. They drive to assignments while thinking about how to share on social media and produce their stories. Photojournalists wondered where the future lies for their position, and if MMJs were the answer (Perez & Cremadas, 2014).
With therise of the MMJ, today’s journalism degree plan should reflect the demands and needs of the multimedia journalist. The traditional journalism degree plan cannot focus only on broadcast journalism, but must also include digital media, specifically social media. Educators must consider courses encompassing a scope of broadcast and digital media and communication theories to help future MMJs understand various communication models and television as a business, particularly media management. This article presents curriculum to develop the next generation of empowered, capable, and ethical MMJs.