newspaper journalistIn recent years, journalism has been under attack as more media organizations abandon investigative journalism and reduce newsroom staffs to cut costs in an increasingly competitive environment. What is the incentive to join the world of journalism when the future is so bleak?

With the growth of social media and citizen journalism, accessing news and information is easier for audiences than ever, and the role of newsrooms and journalists is in a state of flux. However, veteran magazine editor Ann Friedman shares four reasons why she believes it is the best moment to be in journalism on the Columbia Journalism Review website. She explains:

“Creative risk-taking is now a core journalistic job skill, and it needs to be prioritized. Learning how to adapt and evolve is just as important as preserving hallowed crafts like editing and writing. And if journalism is going to survive, the tension between preservation and evolution has to become a source of fun and inspiration, not gloom and doom.”

What makes 2013 a great time for the journalism industry? Check out Ann’s top four reasons below.

1. Story reach

Today, journalists’ work can be seen by a larger audience than ever, and for most journalists, being read by a global audience is a very big deal that didn’t exist a decade ago.

2. Audience access

Today, journalists can communicate directly with their audiences to learn what they like and don’t like, adapt their techniques, and gauge the impact of their stories. This type of access is something journalists never thought would be possible years ago.

3. Sources

Today, journalists have more access to sources than ever through mobile devices, email, social media, and so on. Of course, with that access comes additional concerns related to vetting those sources and confirming the accuracy of information provided by those sources, but the days of trying to connect with a source via a single landline are over.

4. Creativity

Today, journalists are faced with more chaos than ever but with chaos comes creativity, something that Friedman believes is vital to pushing the journalism industry into a new model to match the changing world and audience.

Rather than lamenting days gone by, journalists that are adapting, pushing the envelope, and thinking creatively are staying motivated during this unsteady time in the journalism industry. Journalists and content publishers in general can learn from Friedman’s suggestions. Follow the link at the beginning of this article to read her full insights, and start thinking differently about journalism.

The old ways aren’t coming back, but how can we make the future even better?

Image: Jenny W.