Shining a light on the future of journalism

Journalists were advised Monday how to obtain a job in the changing world of news from a guest speaker during the Media Arts Speaker Series in the Great Hall.


Walter Hammerwold, a copy editor and page designer with the Los Angeles News Group, spoke about the need for journalists to adapt to the demands the Internet and what will be desired by newspapers in the immediate future.


“20 years from now, Facebook might be there, or not, no one knows,” Hammerwold said.


As Hammerwold informed students, journalism has entered a generalization era, and journalists need to be a one-man-band, particularly with the need to have news be published right away.


“Knowledge used to double every decade. Now it doubles nearly everyday,” Hammerwold said.



Hammerwold also discussed the reasons journalists are being laid off right now is because they are unable to transition from print to web.



“You have to figure out a way to make yourself indisposable,” Hammerwold said.



The change to Internet-based news will eventually cause news industries to go entirely to the web, making young, out-of-college journalists highly valuable to companies.


The fast-paced nature of the Internet has changed the way readers receive their news, with the desire for immediacy and information taking priority over the old-school method.


“Nobody wants to read your story,” Hammerwold said. “They want to be informed.”


Despite the grumbles modern journalists voice about the Internet, it does offer abilities that paper can’t, making news more interactive with the reader, according to Hammerwold.

The Internet allows writers to reach a larger audience, a target audience, and anyone can post different forms of news directly to the Internet, and can be updated multiple times, making it much more effective in getting the news to the reader.

Hammerwold did discuss the issues that come with the Internet, including a larger amount of misinformation, loss of seasoned journalists, but the Internet also self-corrects from public comments, making the benefits of the Internet outweigh the issues.


However, some aspects of news haven’t changed, especially the photo aspect of journalism.


“Photos are how you want people to remember moments,” Hammerwold said.