Using a smartphone only, with some also using a voice recorder, both hands are not at rest, constantly touch typing, voice recording, photo taking, or video recording, or also doing all tasks simultaneously.
It is probably owing to the demands of this era of "new media" when people have got accustomed to the quick-changing news as well as varied forms in which they are dished out: text, photo, and video.
We are aware of the term of convergence in journalism as this type of job of gathering information in several ways to be provided to the readers who are also the viewers.
Furthermore, it is not only about on what medium the news is being served, but the matter of platform. As for instance, people earlier consumed news from printed newspapers or magazines, while now, they tend to be more like online readers.
However, according to this wide range convergence media, journalists nowadays need to multitask while on duty.
Questions appear concerning how journalists handle this matter simultaneously trying to maintain their quality of news and information served to people.
A national printed newspaper journalist for mild report and feature column, J, for the past year should also put himself into another work pace of online news.
Having begun work in early 2018 as a journalist, he spent the year curating topics for weekend articles, selecting his own interviewees, and managing the time for exclusive interviews.
By the end of 2018, or early 2019, J was assigned more tasks to complete on a regular basis. Journalists at the feature desk are also required to cover news for the online portal apart from their main job to—as aforementioned —write mild reports for weekend edition printed newspaper.
For J, that translates to a tighter schedule in terms of the work hours. The online news, usually requiring some additional quick time to issue, apparently does not really matter for the media company where he joins.
“The one that matters for me is the coverage of information that is much like 180 degrees. The depth of issues is pretty much different,” J noted.
From covering exclusive topics to attending a press conference to another “in order to provide news in the online portal, though it has no news quota target per day.”
Moreover, both products of printed and online also differ in editing processes. As J confirmed in his office, feature writings likely have to pass the language editing before being piled at the editor’s desk; while online news goes through from journalist to editor only.
Somehow, J manages his job done with a little difference in how he organizes the working time.
However, he personally believes that “it needed to have such curation of issues, even for online news, since there are some agendas that are not proper enough but being covered, as the online portal should always have contents.”
It would be much better for J to write a mild report or feature for the online site, so the approach and pattern used for managing his job turn have no differences.
J must still have some relief, as he was not being asked for “numerous” articles submitted per day, and no “click-bait” needed.
It is a different story of R, a journalist from another national media company based in Jakarta. She has been writing for the online portal since the start of having signed a job contract.
In mid-2018, R applied for a reporter position as she said, “I believe that philosophy - which I was majoring in - and journalism have a common aim to figure out the truth.”
She initially applied for a kids online magazine but ended up in architectural and properties-related online site in the same media group.
It was all according to her plan and expectations of gathering to reporting news as well as writing articles.
“Until it turned out to be a no reporting session and content writing, even copy-writing only. I have gathered no new information from the field,” R confirmed.
Since the past several months, she was being moved to a brand new online site highlighting lifestyle, especially of celebrities, under the same media group.
“Ridiculous demand on quantity that should follow as many as eight articles per day, adding video content per week. Moreover, the page view matters to reach certain numbers,” R noted.
“I was asked to be a multitalented and multitasking journalist,” she added.
However, R is already proposed to move into another online portal desk at the company, and currently content with reporting sessions and gathering information from interviewees she met up.
Whether journalists like it or not, apparently this era of new media continues to insist on having them as the super journalists.
Or is it the media industry?
Related news: Smartphone alters news consumption behavior among generations
EDITED BY INE