25 July 2016

Opinion: Eric Holthaus Crowd funding his journalism

Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist who is using crowd funding to support his investigative journalism with a focus on climate change.

The interesting thing here is that Holthaus is not a trained journalist in the conventional sense but he is using the internet and the people on it to help fund his journalistic venture. It begs the question if journalists in 2016 even need formal qualifications anymore because if you can use the internet to fund a career in the profession then what is three years at university worth studying it?

The same could be said for bloggers, who are now becoming more and more integral to the field of journalism. Some websites even employ bloggers full-time to provide content for their site because a lot more people are turning off from print and on to the web for their news. Again, most of the bloggers don't come from any formal training and have seen their hobby of writing become a cash-cow.

I guess this allows greater diversity in the content we see online now. We are no longer at the mercy of posh toffs who studied for three years at university to tell us the world is a terrible place in their article on the Times. Instead, everyday people are now driving the news and what we create is becoming the talking point. Writing is a skill that takes a lot of practice to get perfect but if someone is passionate enough then that's sure to shine through in the writing, no matter how amateur is might seem.

Journalism is one of those funny professions that has had to accept that the internet isn't a phase that'll pass and everyone will go back to reading print. Its adapt or die. And you've seen a lot of print names die because they don't want to embrace the digital age.

What Holthaus is doing is bold, he's changing the narrative on climate change because he feels not a lot is reported on it and it is a big deal that affects us all so why should we get someone who actually cares about the topic to tell us what is going on?

By Yusuf Tamanna

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please make your comment short, constructive, friendly and legal (see the English libel laws in particular). Thanks.