Changing, but not Dying: The Future of Broadcast Journalism

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February 6, 2013 by The Bison Times

Last week we had an article about why print media isn’t going to die. This week, we plan on doing the same thing, but with broadcast journalism — debunking the myths that people are only interested on getting their news online.

This isn’t to say that broadcast journalism isn’t changing. Just like its brother in print media, broadcasting is an evolving news source that will change as time goes on.

The difference between today and the media culture of 20 years ago is that the Internet is a prevalent media source and people do turn to it for its convenience and speed.

“Viewers want the news now,” Rich Lodewyk, NDSU broadcast journalism lecturer said.

This means that people need a myriad of different things. People need easy access to the videos that appear on the news online, Lodewyk said; not everyone has time to sit down at

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‘SU TV News set on the campus of North Dakota State University

6 or 10 p.m. and watch an hour-long newscast. They also want updates via social networking, like Facebook and Twitter, which nearly everyone has on their smartphones these days.

In turn, this means that broadcast journalism students will need to up the ante — many more skills are needed today to be successful in broadcasting.

“Students need to know how to tell a television story,” Lodewyk said. “They need to be able to shoot proper video, edit properly and write proper broadcast scripts. Students also need to do everything themselves when it comes to doing video projects.”

Since budgets are tight, having a handful of jacks-of-all trades on your team can mean a lot and save a lot for broadcasting companies. This also puts a lot of pressure on the students and even universities, who need to provide an education and an experience to their students that they can carry with them long throughout their lives.

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‘SU TV control room on the campus of North Dakota State University.

However, budgets are tight. Not every school has updated, top-notch facilities. One example of this is USM, where their communications school is finally getting a facelift.

The article says that some of the equipment in the college is super retro, dating to the 70s. While retro is definitely in right now with vintage photography to clothing styles, it is definitely not the standard for journalism equipment.

Students in the college remain hopeful. The article quotes a student who says that journalism isn’t dead, but changing. And we believe the same thing.

DegreeDirectory.org says that traditional broadcasting jobs may very well disappear. This might be the case, but they also say that students who are eager to learn new skills and keep up with the fast pace of technology will have a better chance at keeping a job in the future. Lodewyk agrees.

“Television, radio stations and newspapers are hiring people who can do everything themselves and tell a story visually,” he said. “Budgets are tight everywhere in the country and if a student can get good at telling a television story by themselves, they will find a job after graduation.”

Newspapers and televised broadcasts not your cup of tea? Well, stay tuned, because next week we’ll be discussing the changes in the archaic but definitely not old-fashioned world of radio.

This video is CNN’s Anderson Cooper delivering a speech to Elon University in which he explains the value of hard work in the television industry.  The changing times are forcing television journalists to be well versed in a number of areas.

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