Leo Hickman, Environmental Journalist for The Guardian

Print journalism is on the decline”, a repetitive phrase that not even the likes of Leo Hickman can shy away from. It seems to be a consistent thought among many journalists today. But is this really the case, what happens next? With journalism degree courses running all over the UK, is there time to adapt to the new changes?It seems Hickman, an environmental journalist for the The Guardian can only prepare for what could soon change his traditional working method.

Stating the obvious, Hickman engaged within the state of today’s print industry. He revealed print journalism is on the decline, using the exact phrase that the likes of me and you are tired of hearing, due to the impact of the “digital age.” but what can we consider the “digital age” to be?Computers and the internet have taken over much of today’s everyday life, but we certainly have not be sucked into a vortex of technology which disables us from consuming any part of the media what so ever. OK, so music downloads and online communities are on the increase, but there seems to be something missing when you click “download mp3” or “comment now”.

It is first hand interaction. It may seem more convenient at times to do this, and yes if you are stuck in a sticky situation then it is!, but the typical sight of a newspaper stand in your local news agents or hard-copy CD album from that bargain music cavern is an item which can be treasured forever. Not to get lost in your internet browsing history after logging onto numerous online sites; Facebook, Outlook Express, Tesco Online Shopping, just to name a few once checking the short news snippets on BBC news.

Yet there are those whom still fear for the worst. Hickman has prepared for what is set to come, and in a shift of working methods, now focuses on the online aspects of his work, spending several hours a day using online technology for The Guardian Online. Here he produces many features and articles on a regular basis. Not only this, Hickman has turned to blogging, spending another number of hours working on it. Hickman’s daily life seems to revolve around a computer screen. Of course he is producing work, unlike me and you whom seem to stare at the screen simply to socialize and check each others Facebook accounts.

 Hickman generates ideas for features and then speaks to editors about them. But there is a simple reason behind the fun of blogging, they bring jobs!, according to Hickman. “Personal blogs are growing in popularity within journalism. They are more accessible for a job.”So what should we be thinking about the future of journalism? Is it time to change our way of working, enhance our treasured skills and widen our options within this chosen area? Only time will really tell what it is set to happen.



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