The rise of Twitter and ‘Instant Articles’ has drastically reshaped how we view news, we demand it to be immediate and we demand it to be short. But how will this shift affect journalism and the lives of future journalists?
“Increasingly people have shorter attention spans. So potentially there is a risk of declining readership of feature articles.” Aidan Kidson, a journalism and creative writing student at the University of Wollongong believes there is a risk of pursing his dream job as a reviewer at an Australian music magazine.
As does communications and media studies student Jade Fitzpatrick, “the news is something that people would think of as more “important” than fashion writing and just think that features are a waste of time.” Her dream to become a fashion writer for Elle magazine is tainted by the fear that the more detailed writing approach is not deemed as valuable as the short, sharp and swift news articles we constantly see on our dashboards.
News articles play their part in society by easily bringing the news of the day to the reader, without wasting too much of their precious Facebook time. But to solely rely on this form of journalism is dry and uncreative. We then force this colourless writing style upon our current and future journalists because it is more likely to produce a job, and stifle the possible creative genius of those who simply love to write.
As Jade says “I like that [detailed writing] tells a story about the clothing or the runway experience rather than a simple review about it, you can almost visually see it in your mind so I like that a lot.”
Where would we be in a world without detail reviewing? We need this journalism to stimulate our minds and our imaginations. And we need to keep this alive for the writers of the future to have a career in.
And despite their trepidations, the students of UOW are doing just that.
“I hope that I can make others feel the same way about them.” Scott Charman, doing a bachelor of computer science, wishes to use his writing ability to review video games, and through his words share his passion for gaming. This dream simply could not occur in a society solely consisting of Spartan news articles.
The situation would be especially dire for journalism student Dec Lynch, who adores the stories that we create through this form of novelistic writing, “I love so many different avenues of writing that I don’t know if I could pin it down to just one.” Dec imagines himself in blogging or online journalism in the future, and hopefully by the time he gets there his writing ability will still be in demand.
The only hope we have to continue creative journalism is to put our faith in the dedication and passion of future journalists.
“I think that in feature writing, there are almost no limitations…I think opinions are really important in the context of providing information.” For Aidan Kidson, journalism is about sharing your opinions and interests with the rest of the world, not recounting the facts without a story.
Storytelling is a part of human nature, and if we let it fade away we risk losing a part of ourselves along with it.