Steven King is the Editor of Innovations and Special Projects at washingtonpost.com. King, a graduate of the photojournalism program at Western Kentucky University, was Multimedia Editor of Content Development at washingtonpost.com. King spent two years in Chiang Mai, Thailand as an overseas correspondent for the International Missions Board. He also helped create CommissionStories.com, a multimedia storytelling site. View King’s website here.
It isnâ€™t news that the journalism industry is changing. Even neighborhood dogs notice that papers arenâ€™t dropping on porches anymore, and photography jobs are about as likely to fall from the sky.
But the journalism sky is far from crashing down around us, although photojournalism purists would call this the end of an era.
Instead, I steadfastly believe that this is a new horizon for the industry to take the undiluted craft of visual storytelling to a level that only enhances the medium. Even if the job titles arenâ€™t the same.
To view TimeSpace, go here.
It is a truth evident in the job I do every day as the Editor of Innovation for The Washington Post. My beat is to discover or create new ways to tell stories and share information from the washingtonpost.com to the mobile site to new devices yet to reach the market.
This may seem like a replanting from my roots as a photojournalism student at Western Kentucky University. At Western, I learned about ethics, storytelling, technology and presentation. That journalism school foundation is still at the core of what I do.
I am still a photojournalist residing in a technology directorâ€™s chair. Rather than creating one long-form documentary video, my team created a way to display dozens of stories in a 3-dimensional environment. Instead of publishing two photos with an article, I found a way to publish 6-8,000 photos a day from around the world â€“ all with GPS locations, time stamps and retrievable data.
Perhaps the mediums I use today are different and the technology has changed since I learned Flash at the photo lab over spring break in 2001. But my understanding of journalism, media and the industry from that time is what gives me an edge over other development managers in my field today.
To view Scene In, go here.
I did not wake up one day and go from being a photographer to an innovations manager. The evolution began by creating basic Flash slideshows that iPhoto now renders obsolete and continues today as I add Django and JSON to my language set.
Learning these new technologies does not make you less of a photojournalist. Itâ€™s like adding a new lens to your bag, ready to pull out at the right moment to capture the story in the best composition possible. With traditional photography and solid journalism training as your center-point, adding these new skills not only enhances your abilities, but also makes you job marketable in this new era of journalism.
To thrive in todayâ€™s industry, you must evolve! This is not only in being a multi-faceted storyteller, but also in the way you see the industry as a whole, including business.
Editorial and advertising are as intertwined and separate by necessity as the issue of church and state. Yet, you do not have to compromise your ethics or degrade your storytelling ability to survive.
Almost every day I talk directly with our advertising staff about new ideas and creative ways to deliver innovative ads in editorial content. I have even stood before advertisers and presented future projects but maintaining a firm boundary to the editorial process. This is a major change from just a few years ago, and one that must be made by ethically-strong journalists who know how to maintain that boundary if we are going to stay in business.
To view onBeing, go here.
Even on a small-market level, staying in business means there are no jobs left that only call for photographers. More likely, youâ€™ll find managing editor positions that require page layout skills. In bigger markets, if you canâ€™t keep shooting while ensuring your GPS logger is functioning, your photo will probably not be seen by anyone other than you and your mother.
There are jobs in the journalism industry today.Â Just look beyond the job title.