I’ve got love for you if you were born in the 80’s…

December 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm (new age journalism, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )



I think it is fairly evident for all to see that a lot has changed since the 1980’s. I imagine this is something that most of us are pretty grateful for, especially when thinking about the bad clothing and the hairstyles! Even though I only got to enjoy four years of this glorious decade, I do know it was pretty fun, but I think most of it should be left inĀ  the 1980’s, especially luminous clothing and make-up. Some of the music was great-David Bowie, Blondie just to name a few. Other things were not so great-including the journalism.

Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC Technology Correspondant spoke to us about how journalism has changed since the 1980’s and I think it’s fair to say it has come a long long way. Looking at clips of news from the 1980’s was not only slightly embarassing to watch, but many of us laughed. It seemed ridiculous to us that people would actually wear glasses that took up two thirds of their face, or that journalism was done using cartoons, badly shot footage and hardly any graphics. If graphics were used they were of the most basic kind and did not tell you much about the story itself.

Back in the 1980’s broadcast journalism was basic. But the audience was huge, as the choice was fairly limited. There was no 24 hours which seems strange as it is so infiltrated in our news consumption now.

There was also limited interactivty- callers were treated as mad or strange individuals and of course there was not email or text, unlike today where all we see is user generated content filtered into all aspects of news programming.

In some ways it is easy to think that being a journalist in the 1980’s was harder then than it is now, as we have a lot more tools to do things for us. I personally think it has actually become a harder profession with the proliferation of technology into the industry. Journalists now have to be multi-skilled and be able to use all aspects of the technology, from writing to filming. You can no longer be amazing at just one aspect of the trade.

We also now have to learn to be interactive and deal with the pressure from user generated content. I always think that high quality journalism will triumph in the end, but we are now under more pressure to make sure our work is of a high quality.

The 1980’s may have been a period that people look back on wistfully, thinking about their school discos or trying to hide their shame and embarassment. It is no different for journalism and I’m sure in another 20 years or so we will feel the same about this period. At the moment we just need to keep moving with the times and rise to the challenge that the techonological innovation has brought us.


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