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Mashable Offers Up Traits for Future Journalists-Do You Have Them?

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair,

Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group
I was going through my Google Reader, and this post from the Mashable blog caught my eye: 8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist.  As a journalist who has been working hard to reinvent herself, I was intrigued with the list, and decided to see how far I’ve progressed, based on it.

  1. Entrepreneurial and business savvy.  Check.  In the end, everything we do as journalists has to add to the bottom line, and I keep that in mind with every story I write.  I also constantly try and keep up with all the latest trends in the industry so I’m not caught unaware.
  2. Programmer.  I’ll give myself half a check for that.  I know just enough to be dangerous of basic platforms, but really need to do more to get up to speed 100%.
  3. Open-minded Experimenter.  100% check here.  I have been very proactive in looking for — and using — the latest tools, tricks and technology to enhance my craft of journalism.  I live by the motto “Adapt or Die.”
  4. Multimedia Storyteller.  I’ll give myself a check here, knowing I still need to incorporate video more into my toolbox.  I podcast, I take photos, I blog/Tweet and I’ve invested in the tools to make me more effective.
  5. The Social Journalist and Community Builder.  100% check here.  I have fully embraced social media to plant the flag for my publications via my personal Facebook page, my company’s fan page and my professional Twitter account.   I also oversee the Digital Journalism Task Force Twitter account.  I’m also reaching out to individuals and companies in my industry via social media, and have had speaking engagements on this very topic.
  6. Blogger and Curator.  Again, 100% check.  I contribute to three company blogs — Business Aviation Now, Things With Wings and Overhaul & Maintenance MRO — and write a personal blog on new media issues and contribute regularly to this blog on digital journalism.  A casualty of all this has been my personal blog on issues of interest to me.  There’s just not enough hours in a day!
  7. Multiskilled.  100% checked.  I can write stories across all our platforms, I take my own pictures (5,000+ and counting on Flickr), I can record, edit and produce podcasts with the best of them, I can do a slideshow in a pinch and I’m taking steps with video.  In 2010, I plan to sharpen up my video skills, work more on Flash and slideshows and jump into HTML with both feet.
  8. Fundamental Journalism Skills.  I’ve had that from the beginning.  But I take issue with the author putting this at the bottom of the list, because if you don’t have skills, the rest of the list is a complete waste of time.

I’d be interested to hear about how many of these skills you have and what you’re going to do to strengthen the ones you don’t have.

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Author:

Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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