Types of Digital Reporters

The changing face of news reporting in a digital age has ushered in new ways effacing the challenges of modern day reporting. Reporters are now adapting to reporting for various kinds of media and gathering stories through various kinds of techniques. Among the new kinds of reporters brought about by changing trends in news reporting is the converged reporter. This is a reporter who is equipped with the skills to report for different kinds of media – print, broadcast and online/internet news media. Dominick (2009) writes that a converged reporter is one who can write stories for a print medium or a Web site, shoot and post photos online, and do video reports as well. The concept of converged reporting is related to the emergence of media convergence which refers to the technological development which has brought about the merger of various kinds of media into one outlet. It is a cross media arrangement involving the print, broadcast and Internet media. Journalists who acquire skills for reporting for these various media forms are referred to as converged reporters.

The converged reporter is also called the backpack journalist, a term used to describe a “do-it-all” reporter “who carries around a small digital camera, a laptop, and a satellite phone (presumably in a backpack) that enables him or her to produce stories for print, television, and online media” (Dominick, 2009, p. 304). The converged journalists are also known as mobile journalists or mojos, a term used to refer to “staff reporters or freelancers who work out of their cars, covering local news that is usually posted to a website or appears in a newspaper print edition” (Dominick, 2009, p. 304). No matter the term used to identify them, journalists are trained in modern news gathering techniques in order to face the challenges of news reporting in a digital world.

(Source: Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Ecology in the Digital Age – second edition, 2021; written by Nwabueze, C.)

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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