The Changing Landscape of Journalism and Communication

Manila Bulletin, December 25, 2004 | Go to article overview

The Changing Landscape of Journalism and Communication


THIS is the last of the series on the above paper given recently.

Career Paths in Journalism and Communication

In terms of career paths, I see three promising areas in addition to traditional areas and management practice in print, broadcast, advertising, and public relations industries, government information, and teaching.

Civic Journalism The development trends indicate that most of the significant challenges in journalism are in the local community covering poverty and sustainable development issues, peace and security, and local governance. The coverage of these issues and processes growing people participation, devolution of power, and centrality of human rights require committed and competent civic journalists. Globalization implies that journalists must be able to operate in the global arena and therefore equipped with "cutting edge" knowledge in all the sciences, arts, culture and technology. Internet and other knowledge networks are available and help stimulate desire to further seek and validate information. The community today looks up to the media for much of the knowledge needed for survival. Media managers must therefore be sensitive to this need by providing a more balanced fare providing more resources for information, public affairs and educational programs to complement the dominant fare. Print journalists will have to satisfy the growing need of a knowledge society by veering away from too much personality-oriented news and trivia towards investigative and process reporting. The recent disaster brought about by killer typhoons gave the opportunity to delve into the roots of the crises and advocate for alternative options so that this terrible tragedy will not happen again. Anticipatory communication means "sensing" potential danger before it happens. The recent tragedy also brought out the best among media practitioners, specifically, reporters in the field. We witnessed civic journalism at its best as we saw broadcast and print journalists braving the strong rains, landslides and muddy terrain as they linked disaster victims to government service centers and at the same time satisfied publics need for useful and timely information.

Journalists today also recognize that they operate in a communication environment characterized by convergence of media, reality TV, and rapidly changing information technologies. These complexities among others, require that they should have a tolerance for ambiguity, risk, and uncertainty. As we know, the Philippines has become like Colombia, a killing fields. Some 61 journalists had been killed with impunity since 1986, 11 of whom were gunned down in 2004. Like forest rangers, journalists may soon become "endangered species" unless media managers and the general public are able to come up with a creative response that would ensure their safety.

Multimedia Management for E-Learning This is a promising career path as there is demand for multimedia specialists who can blend the various media technologies that enhance learning. These skills needed coordinate specialists from graphics, animation, music, and content will also be needed in the future electronic book publishing industry. There is the demand for TV and radio programs that blend entertainment with education or infotainment. What this implies for communication schools is to complement the training in ICT hardware which computer and technical schools are already giving by focusing on the software aspect of ICT training of teachers who would design courses for alternative delivery systems. The theory of constructivism provides guidance in the design of innovative learning systems. Communicators must now lobby and demonstrate to policy makers that the design of information technology software (producers of content, teacher-designers of courses) must precede the installation of technology hardware. An example needing effective advocacy is the bill that would create the Department of Information and Communication Technology.

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