This is something that’s being discussed heavily at the moment in and around the Flight offices.
In many ways the Flight editorial team is ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing new working methods and ways of thinking and reporting.
For a start we’re a “web first publishing company” (since June 2007), whereby all our news is written with the web in mind and published immediately.
We’ve got a “vertical search engine” that takes on the Web 2.0 philosophies of aggregating and utilising the rich seam of industry content available on the wider web (i.e using not just Flightglobal stuff but everyone else’s as well).
Then we’ve got blogs and blogging. We now have professional bloggers who do nothing but blog; journalists who beat blog, live blog events, and other that take the opportunity to put some personality into their work.
We’ve also got forums that allow us to interact with our users and glean direct feedback or even the first indications of a breaking news story.
And our image galleries offer both ourselves and users the chance to upload unlimited images of aircraft and events to enhance to the user experience.
All of this change requires a lot of work and development from the journalists in terms of leaning new skills and embracing different methods.
Today’s journalist acts in a very different way to one of the 1980’s and I’m sure that 2015’s Mr Reporter will have changed in an equally stark way.
An old colleague of mine summarises this well in his recent blog post - What is a digitial journalist? Towards a DJ manifesto
But at the end of the day the purpose is to serve the changing demands of our audience. I’m often asked the question: “But why are you bothering to doing that particular thing?”
The easy answer is because more and more people are reading, responding to, downloading, linking to or looking at “that thing” and therefore finding it of value.
So not a hard decision really.