Door to Door Journalists?

25Oct11

Okay, you may be asking yourself what this odd little grad student has in mind with a title like “Door to door Journalists”?  Simple, one point that really struck home with me from the readings was the idea of multiskilling.  Oddly enough, I have witnessed this first hand and not only in newsprint but in Radio journalism as well.  See my parents own a flooring store and over the years as I worked there, I have seen the progression of multiskilling first hand.

My parents have purchased both print and radio advertisements so we have built a rapport with some of the agents that sell these advertisements and or the local public personalities/reporters.  One such example is Victoria, who worked for Insight and currently works for Comcast.  She first started selling advertisements to my family as a sales representative for Insight and would send in a crew to shoot the commercials but as the years progressed and the market shrunk Victoria began not only selling us the advertisements but also producing them herself.  Insight was eventually bought by Comcast due to many complications including the failing advertising market so Victoria moved on with the company and kept her job but she has had to take on even more job responsibilities.  The point of this example is that Victoria had to adapt as the years progressed and she became multiskilled in order to keep her job.

This is a perfect example of how technological convergence has led to “the dismantling of demarcations between journalists and technicians, writers and camera operators, news gatherers and news processors, and between print, radio and television journalism”.1  The biggest problem in journalism isn’t the declining audience, “…it is falling advertising revenue.” 2  I don’t propose that I know a solution but it is alarming to realize how vastly journalism is being affected, when someone like my parents is able to witness the deterioration first hand in such a small community as in Owen County, Indiana.

Russell McGee

1 M. Deuze, MediaWork, (Polity Press, Malden, MA, 2007), pp. 141.
2 P. Bradshaw, 10 ways that ad sales people can save newspapers, WWW Document, http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2008/08/29/10-ways-that-ad-sales-people-can-save-newspapers/

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