The Rise of Generalist, Multimedia Journalism

There’s no denying that a lot has changed over the past thirty years. Long gone are the days of dial up internet; MTV has been replaced with TikTok; we can turn off our lights with a voice command and carry a mini supercomputer/camera in our pocket. Every industry seems to have felt the impact of our technological revolution, and journalism is no exception.

In the mid-20th century, both print and broadcast outlets were fully staffed with specialty journalists assigned to specific beats. The narrow assignments allowed time for reporters to research and educate themselves on their topics, publishing informed stories that dove deep into details and analysis.

Today, we see more generalists that are pressed against quick deadlines, offered few resources and lack the time to research complex topics as thoroughly.

While the 90s are making a comeback, the trend of generalist, multimedia journalism is here to stay. So, let’s explore how to navigate media relations in this new era:

Pitching a Package

Many of our clients work in complex industries, are invested in legislation or produce uncommon products and services. It’s our role to break down these topics and educate reporters to help secure favorable coverage. It’s not just about pitching a story anymore — our team often prepares packages for reporters that include camera-ready interviews, data points, references and graphic or video elements that are ready for air.

Assessing Knowledge

We never want to just assume a producer or reporter knows nothing about a topic, nor do we want to jump right in at Level 2 with a newbie. We do our research and aren’t afraid to ask what they know or have heard about the topic — which also helps us to assess if there are any misconceptions we need to course correct.

Generating Buzz

It’s also more and more important to generate buzz before you even reach out to an outlet. Deploying creative communications tactics such as powerful legislative testimony, a public letter to an elected official or initiating a debate on social media can help capture modern journalists’ attention.

In knowing how far this industry has evolved in just the last few decades, we can prepare and educate ourselves for what is coming next — perhaps AI will bring back more in-depth reporting. We’ll keep our finger on the pulse for you… stay tuned!

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