Today, technology is playing an increasingly more active part in newsrooms than ever, which means large changes for reporters who cover the technological industry. The growth of the internet has made a world where ordinary individuals can post opinions and information with large audiences at the click of a button. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow users to upload photos, videos, and text to share stories with their friends. These news stories can reach a very wide audience for relatively little cost. While this technology has changed the way business is covered, reporters must adjust to these changes or lose some of their traditionally independent style.
Many techies are comfortable with covering their hobbies and love their hobbies; however, for many reporters the change in reporting style will mean conflict. Often, reporters who have embraced the new tech culture find they must reconcile their personal lives with what they are reporting on. This can be particularly challenging when covering an event like the recent Sony Pictures hack, where hackers gained access to a variety of internal documents. As the company tried to piece together the events of the hack, reporters had to decide whether or not to publish the internal documents and if so, how.
In this same vein, when a reporter covers the story of a new Apple product, the same concerns regarding privacy also come to mind. However, there is a bright side to covering a tech story. Many techies find that they are able to use the stories they write to improve their company and their careers. By blogging about their products and company on blogs and social media sites, a journalist is able to attract attention to new products which may not have been considered before. This allows the company to develop the product faster and gain more customers before it gets too much attention from the competition.
Unfortunately, there is no separation between work and play when it comes to working in the field of tech. If a reporter’s job entails blogging about new gadgets, he or she may have to part ways with their personal life to pursue a story. This may be fine for traditional journalists, but for anyone who loves technology or loves playing with it, this may cause problems. The days of making a living by writing about your hobbies are long gone. Now, many reporters find that they must monetize their interests in order to make a living doing what they love.
In order to succeed in the business of tech, a reporter must learn to compartmentalize his or her personal life from his or her work. This doesn’t mean that a reporter can’t be married, have children, or live in a suburban home with two cars. What it does mean is that the person must have a clear focus on the things that he or she needs to do in order to make a living as a tech writer. A good reporter will always have a business-minded focus and will never lose sight of what his or her life is really about.
The ability to communicate clearly about the business of tech and the importance of sharing that business in a non-pressive way is a valuable skill for all reporters, regardless of how they choose to pursue their career. Today’s online media environment makes it necessary for reporters to use multimedia in order to get their stories out there. Reporters who know how to use the various platforms on the web to share information can give a voice to those who might not otherwise have been able to participate in the news. The voices that these reporters create can touch the lives of people everywhere, and the impact is long-lasting.