Good Outlook for Opportunities in Online Journalism

Despite the growing opportunities online, Joel Dreyfuss, managing editor of The Root finds that diversity in online staffs lags behind its more traditional news counterparts.

“It has not been a priority,” he said. “The majority of large sites – Huffington, Slate – are not very diverse and have not had the pressure to diversify.”

The panelists of “Online Journalism: New Opportunities for Journalists of Color?” shared their perspective on the opportunities online journalism offers for journalists of color, which, in reality, is applicable to journalists of all backgrounds.

For journalists, deterred by the new techniques of reporting online, the panelists agree there’s always room to adapt to online reporting.

While the mediums may have changed –social networking, search engine optimization and video – the skills necessary for online content are the same as traditional media: story telling and news judgment. And, because online technology is learnable, the door of opportunity online is open to journalists of all levels of technology know-how.

“This is a industry that’s evolving so much that the knowledge base keeps shifting, so even the people who were experts last years are not experts this year,” Dreyfuss said.

What gives a reporter an advantage in the news industry is a unique angle, Eduardo Hauser, founder and CEO of Daily, Me. Inc. said. That may come in the form of ethnic background, interest or personal experience. The fragmentation of converged media allows for more perspectives to be shared among the public.

The Bottom Line: There’s growing opportunity for journalists of all backgrounds online. While new media comes with a lot of new rules and methods, those are all learnable. Story telling is the fundamental root of all types of reporting, online included.

“I don’t think that training is necessary,” panelist Ty Ahmad-Taylor, founder of and CEO of FanFeedr, said of new talent. “I’m just looking for people that can communicate.”

- Aleesa Mann