Once again in my survey of online journalists at North Carolina newspapers, we see a return to tradition. They say that news judgment and the ability to work under time pressure are the concepts that are most important to their jobs, while community management is far and away the least important of the 10 choices I gave them.
Also bringing up the rear of concepts that online journalists said were important to them: the ability to learn new technologies and awareness of new technologies.
And, interesting to note for those of us who teach students that it is more important to get it right than to get it first, the online journalists in my survey said that ability to work under time pressures was more important than attention to detail. As a group, they gave deadlines a higher average importance than details. As individuals, 63 percent of the respondents ranked time pressure more important than accuracy.
At this point in my analysis, I have to conclude that one of two things is happening here:
- EITHER There is wide disparity between the skills, duties and concepts that I personally think should be emphasized in online newsrooms and in the skills, duties and concepts that are perceived as the most prominent and/or important in actual online newsrooms at North Carolina newspapers.
- OR This survey is totally FUBAR. Perhaps I asked the wrong questions of the wrong people.
To help me sort this out, I’m going to turn to a panel of experts — both in survey methodology and in online newsroom leadership. And, of course, your comments below are always helpful.
Average Rankings of Concepts
- Time Pressure – 4.1
- Multitasking – 4.3
- Detail – 4.4
- News judgment – 4.4
- teamwork – 4.8
- learn new tech – 5.8
- web usability – 5.8
- interpersonal communication – 6.0
- aware new tech – 6.7
- online community management – 7.3
( Respondents were asked to rate these concepts from 1 to 10, in order of most important to least important.)
Most Popular Priority Ranking for Each Concept
1 – Time pressure, news judgment
3 – teamwork, detail
5 – communication, usability
6 – multitasking
8 – learn new tech
9 – aware new tech
10 – comm. management