MA Anneli Valpola on lähes kaksi vuotta ollut LSE (London School of Economic and Political Sciences) Media and Communications laitoksella Visiting Fellow -roolissa. Hän on keskittynyt kahteen pääteemaan: Strategiseen viestintään ja Journalistien kehittymiseen. Valpola on tukenut LSE uuden MSc Strategic Communication ohjelman toteutusta ja selvittänyt uutistoimittajien osaamista ja kehittymistarpeita tutustumalla alan tutkimuksiin ja haastattelemalla kokeneita uutistoimittajia.
Teksti: Anneli Valpola (all rights reserved)
What is happening with media? Why there are so much fake news, rumours and lies flying around? What has happened with the quality journalism and trustful media companies? And who are the professional journalists serving us with our diversified needs and demands?
The changes of media environment I have summarized under six themes, each of them having a profound demand on journalists’ competencies:
Speed – New news every day, every minute
Technology – New tools and channels
Fake news – Truth is hard to communicate
Behaviour changes – young people own their style
Globalization – Faraway Nearby
Citizen journalism – We are all journalists now!
All they have impact on competencies of journalists. Some of them have been always key competencies of talented and trusted journalists. Some – if I may say – haven’t been recognized as learning needs, for which new development and training opportunities should be designed and offered.
Therefor it has been interesting for me to reflect the situation with my transformation experiences in other industries, where the focus of work have had dramatic changes on executives, managers and experts. And when the development of people has been one important strategic means.
The report itself is available for you, by contacting Anneli Valpola by email, either email@example.com (until end of February 2019) or firstname.lastname@example.org. She is open to discuss about the report, survey results and proposals for further development of journalists.
Competencies of journalists
Competencies of journalists: what are the competencies and how to create development and learning opportunities needed?
Much thinking and many studies have focused on the professional competence of journalists. It is important to carry forward the values and roles that have been associated over the decades with journalists as the fourth power in society, speaking for the weak and seeking to do something good for society. A free press is said to be a guarantee of democracy, trusted to convey reliable facts and able to obtain and share all the useful background information to which a reporter’s privilege gives him or her access.
There is also much discussion of the need for quality journalism and the increasing demands in terms of the education and professional competence that journalists need and the investment of resources, time and effort required to produce news that meets the needs of today’s demanding customers. The words and phrases we hear repeated include trust, truth, disinformation, stories, emotions, technology, robotics, algorithms, social media, changing behaviour of users and consumers, threats to traditional media companies and organizations, globalization, and its coexistence with local, citizensupported journalism. Many efforts have been made around the world to define journalism and find a relevant focus for education. There seems to be a continuous discussion of the best balance of practical skills and theoretical knowledge. The industry values the status quo, so newcomers need to internalise what their senior peers are already doing. Academic faculty, in their turn, like to combine vocational training with a more theoretical programme. Around the world, journalism education is organised in three main styles: in schools or institutes at different universities, in independent journalism schools, or primarily through on-the-job training by the media industry. Traditionally, this education covers practical skills training, general contextual education and liberal arts courses (Deutze, 2006).
Duty to explain the news
Few years ago professor Henrik Örnebring (2016), in his research involving more than two thousand (2,238) journalists from six European countries, defined professionalism as a characteristic and described the resulting situation in the following terms – Duty to present facts objectively/accurately – Duty to act as watchdog – Duty to explain and analyse the news – Duty to set the political and social agenda – Duty to change society for the better – Duty to provide audiences with what they want – Duty to tell interesting/entertaining stories – No duties other than to themselves
(Source: Örnebring, Henrik; 2016; Newsworkers. A Comparative European Perspective.Oxford: Bloomsbury)
In my interviews of experienced journalists, who worked in news rooms or as foreign correspondents, the important oommon competencies can be mapped as the chart below. There are three important areas of competencies: First Curiosity and learning capacity, secondly Keep deadlines and selfmanagement and as third Production skills. There are also three guiding questions: What is interesting? What is relevant? and How do I present it?
Haluatko koko raportin?
Edellä oleva on FUTURE JOURNALISTS -raportista osuus, jossa kerrotaan sekä journalistien osaamis- että kehittymistarpeista. Raportin eri osien julkistuksesta keskustelut ovat käynnissä, siksi Valpola haluaa jakaa raporttia tai sen osia vain sovituille henkilöille. Jos olet kiinnostunut, ole häneen yhteydessä (anneli.valpola(at)olorin.fi). FUTURE JOURNALISTS Curiosity, self-management and multimedia skills promote successful career as professional news journalist.
Interviews, notes and reflections.
Anneli Valpola, MA, MPhil
LSE, Department of Media and Communications, Visiting Fellow 2017-2019 STRATO, Senior Partner