NUJ report confirms fears about investment in multimedia

ONE of the worst fears of many newspaper journalists – that money is being put into new technology at the expense of quality journalism – has been borne out by a new report.

‘Shaping the Future’ was commissioned by the National Union of Journalists to investigate the implications of ‘media convergence’.

Says the NUJ: The report follows months of consultation with journalists working across the industry. It finds that the significant sums that have been spent on new technology haven’t been matched by investment in journalism.”

It continues: “The document welcomes the possibilities offered by the internet and media convergence, highlighting their potential to engage new audiences in lively and high quality journalism. However, it also finds that many journalists are worried about the impact they will have on their professional standards.”

One concern is increased demand on journalists to produce more content for more outlets, without a corresponding increase in resources to help make it happen.

Says NUJ General Secretary, Jeremy Dear: “Journalists from all sectors of the industry are excited about the possibilities but concerned about the pressures that come from under-resourced moves to multimedia working.

“What is clear is that new technology isn’t to blame. The faultline is with its appropriation by short-sighted media employers. Instead of seizing the opportunity to enhance journalistic content and build and maintain quality media, many simply seize the opportunity to reduce costs and boost profits, viewing the erosion of quality journalism as a necessary sacrifice.”