I’ve been in the journalism business for 33 years now, and I’ve seen plenty of changes. The reporting and editing process uses much more technology, there are more deadlines, the revenue model has changed, reader expectations are different and competition is broader, with some competitors being digital only.
The new journalists entering the field are much more comfortable using digital tools for researching, writing, editing and producing, but I must say their command of the language leaves something to be desired, especially for those of us who had to diagram sentences back in the fourth grade, who studied years of Latin and who had to write, write, write throughout high school and college and graduate school. My first job as an editor was at a pioneering company that unfortunately lived hand-to-mouth financially, so we had no training on hardware, and software for which we didn’t exactly have licenses, if you get my drift. Plus we were doing some cutting-edge work for which there were no tech tools, so we had to make up production processes as we went along, just as we had to figure out for ourselves workarounds for our balky computers and software (though mostly we worked on dumb terminals connected to an IBM System 38, as I recall).
Our leaders and owners are now less patient business people. Better financial reporting tools means they can look not just at quarterly financials (and website traffic) but monthly, weekly and daily numbers — sometimes intraday — and expect quick action if those financials (or page views) are not up to snuff.
We’ve got much better collaboration tools, and the output of our reporting and editing process comes in audio, video and infographics, in addition to words.