05 May 2023

Tech advancements bring new responsibilities and opportunities for young journalists

Scroll.in Editor Naresh Fernandes asks them to fight readers’reluctance to read news

Technology has answers to a lot of things today, but some things have to be found within ourselves—like moral clarity and courage, said Naresh Fernandes, Editor of Scroll.in, a news website.

Mr Fernandes was speaking at the annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Journalism &New Media where he highlighted the role young journalists have to play in the age of rapid technological advancement. These advancements slowly ushered in changes in legacy newsrooms.The new crop of journalists has started to benefit from them.

The greatest challenge journalists faced, he said, was to produce the best stories they possibly could in the environment they were operating in and the resources they had.

 “Cowboy journalism” – a practice where one or more reporters from same or rival publications compete for breaking news –  is now redundant, said Fernandes as the readers access news through social media, and not on any news website.

“This opens up space for collaborations with other publications,” said Fernandes. Flat hierarchies are fast-tracking careers of journalists in newsrooms.

However, despite all the technological advancements, fewer and fewer people are reading news – citing reasons such as “feeling worn down” and “finding it hard to follow news,” said Mr Fernandes, who has worked with publications such as The Times of India and the Associated Press in Mumbai, and The Wall Street Journal in New York.

To combat this, he urged the young graduates to strive to present news in newer formats.“Innovative ways to represent the news to this exhausted audience will determine the health of our democracy.”

In his address, Dr Abraham George, President, IIJNM, told the graduating batch that they had an important role to play in bringing justice for all. Stating that the ideals of social justice and fairness that the country embraced at the time of independence were deeply Indian and right, he exhorted the young journalists to uphold them and bring about positive change.

The Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media is a post-graduate school of journalism located in the suburbs of Bangalore, India. It was founded in 2001 by the BS&G Foundation, a collaboration between The George Foundation and Adi Chunchangiri Maha Samasthana.

The following students were given awards during the convocation:

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