Out With the Old. In With the New: How Journalism is Changing

“You now have to think of every single part of the news animal. Tail to snout.”


Having experience in journalism and running multiple multi-media platforms, Michael Fleeman, managing editor for Connections III Digital spoke to journalism students at California State University, Northridge about the continuous and rapid change of journalism.

Michael Fleeman, a graduate from Columbia University and University of California, Berkley, shared his experience being a reporter and discussed how social media is reshaping the news. Fleeman said that you have to constantly shift in this world as a reporter while keeping your basic skills up to date.

“Everything is changing and accelerating. And everything that I am telling you now will probably be different a year from now,” he said.

Fleeman said student journalists should be able to adjust with the rapid change in news. They should be nimble and figure out how to remain true to their journalistic ethics while being able to use social media as a new way of distributing and getting news.

Along his work in Connections III Digital, Fleeman worked as a reporter for the Associated Press and a west coast editor for People Magazine at People.com, as well as being a part time author.

Fleeman explained that the raise of social media is forcing news to become more visual and video driven. Newspapers are declining and the majority of news stories are obtained through electronic devices. 

Today, journalism is more than just words on paper. Digital media has changed this old fashioned way of reporting. Rather than being factually correct, news stories would have a point of view.

“You just don’t go with a notepad and take notes. You now have to think of every single part of the news animal,” he said. “Tail to snout. Every single way you can feed the media.”

Majority of people consume the news through mediums such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media outlets such as these offer opportunities for news distributors to reach more people.

Fleeman explained if students failed to understand the impact social media has on journalism, they would get swallowed up by the technological change.

“You have to know the rules before you break the rules. And you have to know when you break the rules,” he said. “You have to know how to post on Facebook. You have to know how to post a tweet. You have to know how to upload a YouTube video. All these digital tools you really need to have, otherwise you’re going to be left in the dust.”


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