"All journalism is going to be mobile within a very short space of time," forecast Alison Gow, digital innovation editor, Trinity Mirror, speaking at the NCTJ Journalism Skills conference in Sheffield.
She said some journalists still believe audiences will view stories "on this beautiful monitor at leisure, when actually most people view things on a tiny screen and consume their information that way”.
And understanding how to present a news story or a longform piece in a way that works for mobile readers is an important skill for young journalists to learn.
Alongside creating mobile stories, journalists should also be able to understand coding to have an edge in the newsroom, she added.The ability to understand social is actually a real skill and it takes time to acquireAlison Gow, Trinity Mirror
Gow said Trinity Mirror offers basic coding training to its journalists, because it's important for reporters to understand HTML and CSS.
Journalists at the media organisation may not code much as part of their day to day work, she said, as there are specialised product teams available.
However, "understanding [coding] means they have a better ability to ask for what they want created," she explained.
She also highlighted data journalism and an engaging social media presence as two skills that make young journalists stand out in the newsroom nowadays.
She said social media skills may even outweigh a pass on a media law exam as "we can put [journalists] through law but the ability to understand social is actually a real skill and it takes time to acquire".
Trinity Mirror has also created specialised roles for "social media writers" who stay connected to its communities on social networks.
They work different shifts from other journalists in the newsroom, as the job of a social media writer entails being in tune with the conversations happening in the evening, when people are more likely to be online, she said.Everybody works for our digital products and there is a small team of experts who are taking the best of the day's news and looking at the agenda around that, and putting it into the print productAlison Gow, Trinity Mirror
"They are a part of [the conversation] and they are writing stories that are emerging out of it, [which are then] going on the site."
She also said the media organisation has split its regional newsrooms into two "systems": a live system, and an agenda system.
The live system includes journalists working specifically on live content for digital audiences and social media communities.
The "agenda writers" are "taking a longer view of what is happening" and looking at people's reactions to stories.
Trinity Mirror has been working with a newsroom 3.1 strategy in its regional newspapers, turning the "old system" of working towards a print product on its head.
"[Now] everybody works for our digital products and there is a small team of experts who are taking the best of the day's news and looking at the agenda around that, and putting it into the print product," she said.
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