Official blog of Clark's Blogging for Journalists class, Mass Communication department

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why journalism skills are more important than ever

Read and follow this blog:

Inverted pyramid? Why?
Media chart on skills? Where do you fit?

Comment below by 5 pm Wednesday Sept. 10.


  1. The inverted pyramid is perfect for the short attention span of today's readers. One of the reasons why Twitter is so popular is because it gives us information in a short manner. Restricted word-counts make us write in a manner that is more precise, less wordy, and our audience receives the message and they can go on about their business before losing interest.

    The media chart on skills is located in Mulin's post "Gannett’s “Newsroom of the Future” calls for changes in journalism education," I fit in the Photographer/ Videographer portion of the list.

  2. He does make a point about graduates knowing more about what their getting themselves into. Lets be for real here yes its most of our dreams to do what we love writing and such, but when fresh out of college we're chasing the money and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of money in it. If we know those that do what to make money can focus more on making themselves a great fit for those higher paying positions

  3. The inverted pyramid is a great tool I learned in my media writing class last semester. It is a perfect to sort out what the main points and facts are first and then followed by all the details. I feel like the inverted pyramid is great to use because people want to know the facts first and details later. I think I fit in or will fit in under news media portion because that is the industry I hope to get a job in.

  4. Well... That was stupid.

    This isn't how a newsroom should work. You have editors, and then you have reporters. The reporters of today should have good skills with different types of media. News rooms do not need bizzarro world robots analyzing audience needs and metrics. A paper publishes freaking news stories, it doesn't need to waste resources trying to structure itself like USA Today. There is no point in hiring Jonah Hill from Moneyball to direct reporters to write based on the focus-group data and survey's they've done. You write the truth. You write critiques. You write human interest stories and features. You don't write these based on statistics, but what is happening in your world, your city, your neighborhood.

    "Coach I have a good idea."

    "Let me scan this idea and divide it by the graphs I've taken on what the public likes to hear about, and then I'll give you approval to give it to your editor.... Where he will tell you what direction to go with the piece, before you even research the facts of it."

    "Sounds great! I'm off to report the truth, doot de doot de doot."

  5. With people losing attention within seconds. The inverted pyramid is key, it gets to the point quick with the most important on top, and least last. No person is required to read your blog, so getting to the point is essential.

    I had a hard time deciding where I felt I fit in the the "Newsroom of the Future" I guess that I would fit into the Photographer. I feel that I enjoy taking them, and I feel that they are key to blog, so that others can relate to the story you are telling.

  6. I do see his point when he said that many journalism graduates and others will assume that this will be cutting down the availability of journalism jobs, but as seen on the chart it actually opens up more job opportunities for Journalists.
    I think that in the Media chart on skills I would definitely fit into the Photographer/Videographer section on this. Because photography is my passion, and I think that I can tell a story with the help of pictures much better then just through writing.

  7. Inverted Pyramid:
    Let's be honest, we are living in a fast changing world, we are trying to multi-task and experience as much from life as we can. Especially younger generations are not interested in reading long news articles or watching 60 min long documentaries. And here comes inverted pyramid. Short, vibrant messages with the most important content right on at the beginning to catch reader/viewer attention. It is said that we are slowly getting back to ancient times- they call it backward evolution, we are more interested about symbols and pictures that we are in advanced text. That is why Instagram is so popular that even big brands are using it as the most popular source of information. Catchy, original picture, and viewer is yours. It's easy to show your content this way, it also takes less time to view for a viewer than reading a standard post. But is it good? Time will show.

    Media Chart and Skill, where do I fit?
    First of all we are all audience, media surrounds us and we cannot escape them. Each of us checks Facebook or Twitter or Instagram at least once a day. Not to mention TV or radio. But we are also becoming publishers. Everyone posts something each day, or every second. We tweet, we post pictures on Instagram, we create blogs. I consider myself as and Audience and the Public. Who knows, maybe one day I will also work in professional News Media section.

  8. The inverted pyramid is a good tactic when you are wanting to draw the reader in with general information that will hopefully keep them reading as you discuss the more specific points with details. While many times this works, it can also cause readers to lose interest and not finish reading the story to get to the details.

    I believe I would fit into the audience development of the media chart and skill. I am very interested in getting involved with the community (which would be the audience) and find out the best way to reach them. I think it is interesting to find new ways to market to the public and learn from their responses.

  9. Be sure to check with your coach and the data analysis department to get the metrics on what people want to read before pitching an idea to your editor. Or, god forbid, covering something on your beat.

    Waka Waka.

  10. The inverted pyramid is an important tool that formats stories based on importance. I think this is increasingly important because attention spans are getting much shorter. When all information is accessible to the public, journalists have to have something to differentiate their stories from others.

    As far as the future newsroom goes, I don't really like the concept. If I were to pick a category where I would fit, I would have to choose Photography/Videography. I sometimes wish news reporting technology hadn't progressed so much because accuracy is becoming a thing of the past.

    Also, I hope tangible newspapers never become obsolete; there is something about getting a little bit of black ink on your fingertips that makes gathering the news more fun.

  11. I think the inverted pyramid is a great way to engage someones interest in a article or news story that you wrote so you can talk about specific points throughout your paper without loosing your audience.

    I feel that I would definitely fit into the audience development of the media chart and skill, I love working with the community and making a difference In someones life. I work for a blood institute in Oklahoma as their community relations intern and I love getting involved and I think It's interesting figuring out how to talk to the audience and how to reach out the public and learn their response to news releases, post, or meetings which I held at my company.

  12. As much as I see the need and value of writing along the inverted pyramid style, I continue to find it increasingly difficult for me to pull off. It's not that I'm unable to structure stories along the lines of "most important/interesting" to the top and work my way down, it's that I just tend to write in a more linear style. I suppose it's because I might take a story I'm writing for print and write it in a format more designed for a personal discussion. I tend to want to give a little information on the topic and then let it flow with all the intricate details to follow, often building upon smaller details far later in the story, I suppose more like an essay format. I realize this is not the way things are any more, but it always seemed to me that when telling a joke you don't start off with the punchline.

    As far as media skills and where I think I would fit... I would say that I would fit in more to the traditional "Reporter" role, but with a hybrid of Photographer, in stories I've covered I almost have always preferred to take on the interview and photos myself as I have run into several instances of photographers wrecking the mood for the interview, or wanting to take shots that have no relation to the story at all.

  13. The inverted pyramid is especially important in this day and age as everyone wants the news and wants it as quickly as possible. By having the first sentence of the story cover the basics of what it is about and what happened, people know what's going on for the most part. Smaller details and things that aren't as important come after, which is why some people don't read that part. As long as they get the "gist" of a story first, in the inverted pyramid format, most people are happy.

    I think I fit into the Photographer/Videographer as that is what I enjoy most and I like the social media aspect of that job as well. However, I do feel like I would do a good job as the News Assistant because I worked more on that side and with writing/re-writing content.

  14. Although the inverted pyramid style is important in some aspects, I find it increasingly difficult to tailor my writing to a standard that the general public will be interested in. If I’m going to write something, I want to be passionate about it, and not conform to a few short sentences just so more people are able to quickly read it. Personally, if I find a topic or person interesting, I’m going to read however much they have to write. If I don’t find you or your topic interesting, I’m not going to read something you write, no matter how short it is. Getting the facts out first in a story is important, but the concept of cutting out everything you have to say because we are deemed as a society with a short attention span is not something I agree with.

    I fit most into the Photographer/Videographer section because I believe stories are told best when something visually accompanies them.

  15. I like the inverted pyramid for writing styles like newspaper and newsroom because it get's straight to the point at the very beginning and then builds the story after. This way, if the reader were not to finish reading, they would already get the general idea of what the story is about. For me, I find it hard to use the inverted pyramid because I like my posts to build towards the end result. I believe that if someone truly enjoys your topic, they will continue reading even if the sentences are more than just simple sentences.
    As for the future, I see myself as either a reporter or engagement editor. I enjoy reporting certain topics and I also like planning events. I just feel like these two are what fit me best overall.

  16. I think the inverted pyramid is successful in print and web. People are going to spend time on what they find interesting. If the author uses techniques such as subheadlines, bullets, simplifying the text, and short paragraphs then they have a higher possibility of keeping the reader engaged.

    When it comes to the new form of journalism I would belong to the videographer employee. I work in story telling through visuals and interviews. As a current student of professional media my education has already prepared me for a variety of different positions. I feel educated in video work, as well as writing, social media techniques, pr, the internet age, design, and a variety of other skills. This came from my minor in strategic communications and just branching out in a number of elective courses.