What is the difference between a data journalist, graphics, CAR, news applications, etc?
I have realized as my interest has grown larger and larger for journalism that there are many different types. And also many different areas of journalism one may branch off into. I'm wondering what makes each of them different or so significant to the profession, that I may further educate myself. #journalism #broadcast-journalism #science-journalism #mass-communications #data-journalism
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The short answer: Specialization, or branching off into only one of those aspects of journalism, is no longer an option if you want a career in the field.
There was a time, not too long ago, where a data journalist, which is basically the same as CAR (computer-assisted reporting) and a graphics journalist (or graphic artist) and a photo-journalist were separate individuals who worked day-to-day within their specialty. That is infrequent now even at the largest newspapers and television stations due to staffing reductions, the cause of which is for another post.
In the "old days" (before the 2000s) of print journalism, for example, all but the most gifted started at small or mid-sized publications where the budget did not allow for hiring those with such specialties. If you didn't know how to create visual elements of storytelling like a graphic artist, or crunch data from online sources (or from hold-it-in-your-hands reference materials) or take at least a workable photo, you very quickly learned. Of course, the overall quality of the publication sometimes suffered, but it was a viable product that provided news and information for those it served - and jobs for journalists. In time, with personal initiative and success, the hope was you would move up the ladder in terms of publication size and prestige until you got to a news outlet that could afford to hire enough people and you could focus on your speciality for the most part. Today, that small-publication dynamic has reached its way to even the largest newsrooms. Add to that it helps to know the in-and-outs of television production, both on-air and as a producer, and certainly to possess stellar social media skills. Possessing as many media skills as possible, at the highest level you can achieve, will make you a better candidate for a job at a newspaper, radio, television station or online media outlet. I've performed certain skills necessary in all four mediums, in one day, many, many times. And I'm by no means unique.
The definitions of the terms you ask about can be found in the dictionary. The way to learn them are through school coursework, official or unofficial internships and learning how to turn the social media skills younger people already possess into any of the various online offerings any given media outlet will offer. If you don't know how to do something, admit it and ask someone who does for help. (You could probably tech that person things about social media he or she doesn't understand). We are all learning in this new age of journalism.
Don't be discouraged. Nobody knows how to do all of this stuff at first, if ever. Do what you love, adapt, and the money will follow. journalism broadcast-journalism television mass-communications online-media online-journalism radio