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Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Journalism becoming realm of 'digital natives', NCTJ study says

The increasing digitisation of news content is leading to dramatic changes in the core skills needed by reporters, according to research from journalism training body the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

The report found that while the job of reporters to find a story, check it and put it into context for readers remains the same, how journalists approach their work is being dramatically transformed by new technology.

It also suggested that media demands for IT skills are leading to a changing age balance of journalists, with older, more experienced staff being replaced by younger, and cheaper “digital natives”.

The study, authored by Mark Spilsbury, former chief economist at the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, also found that given the importance of social media, journalists must be prepared to reconsider the relationship with their audiences and expect more “two-way discussion”.

It further suggested that people looking to join the profession should be multi-skilled, able to take photographs and produce video content as part of their work.

Spilsbury concluded: “Consideration needs to be given to whether entry to being a qualified journalist can be achieved in a non-newsroom environment," adding that there should be an “ever-greater emphasis on the need for access to quality training.”

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