A few months ago, I mentioned that new digital mediums might affect editorial requirements for the written word. This will have an impact on journalists, whether they like it or not, and all should seek to understand the implications of 21st century technology even if they have no intention of writing anything online themselves.
A good and entertaining example of how reporting is being changed by ‘instant’ media can be found in the sphere of sports journalism. Both the BBC, and some mobile phone networks provide live text updates on matches. These are a great way to keep up with the score if, for some reason, you cannot listen to the live commentary. Each significant event is described in just one paragraph, or (in the case of Orange mobile phone service) one sentence. The tone is chatty, opinionated and partisan… as if it is your best mate keeping you updated. The more prosaic sports journalism we read in newspapers would be impractical and inappropriate for this particular purpose, and has no place here.
This is, of course, a type of live-blogging – nothing new for those already online. The point is simply that this is a style of paid journalism that has evolved with the new technology… technology that could yet leave other writers stranded.