Technology is an exciting area for journalists to specialise in, as it's constantly developing and evolving to have an increasing amount of influence on the way we live our lives.
Bill Thompson, freelance journalist and studio expert for Click, the radio programme about technology by the BBC World Service, has helped shape the industry over the past thirty years. He told Journalism.co.uk that the role is not about being the first to try out and review a piece of new technology.
"I'm not that interested in shiny toys, I'm interested in why we make shiny toys, why they matter to us, and how the tools that are now available change peoples lives for good or ill," he said.
"For me, that's become about how we can take the benefits of this technical revolution, help people understand it well enough to take control of it for themselves, and perhaps, make it something which delivers good in the world, such as equity, social justice and fairness."
He noted that although computers have "taken over the world" in the last 30 years of his professional career, there is no such thing as a 'digital native', a term often used to describe the millennial generation who seem to be naturally tech-savvy with the latest devices and apps.
As a result, Thompson, who built the Guardian's first website in 1995, explained that technology reporters today have a responsibility to help users understand the implications of their tools and equiment, and how it can affect their lives.
"When I started, a lot of it was about explaining what the technology was because very few people had seen it," he said.
"Now the technology is everywhere, so the real role for journalists is to explain why it matters and how you might manage it – it is a different thing that is asked of journalists, but it is not something that everyone can do."
Free daily newsletter
- So you want to be a science journalist?
- Media's focus on technology tends to be short-term, shows survey
- The rise of esports: Why the Daily Mail hired a full-time reporter to cover live video gaming
- So you want to be a newsreader?
- Lydia Polgreen and Katharine Viner share how they got their start in journalism