Newsrooms and traditional media houses will never be the same again. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, newsrooms have had to make a big shift in how they run their activities. Undoubtedly, there have been massive layoffs and pay cuts after advertising revenues ran dry. Most media managers, including legacy media, have had to rethink their funding models and general operations. It has been a season of unlearning and relearning.
There was a time when health reporting was left for a selected few in newsrooms. If there is one thing that Covid-19 has taught newsrooms, it is the fact that reporters must diversify their reporting and not stick on their beats. Suddenly, business reporters were studying disease models so that they can make economic projections. Health reporters had to go beyond straight news reporting and embrace features reporting. Most established media houses had to embrace creative storytelling techniques to catch the attention of media consumers who were feeling fatigued from the many Covid-19 stories they were getting. It was no longer feasible for reporters to report to the newsroom every day. This meant heavy use of technology and apps, reinforcing the fact that the media space is for those who are willing to learn and readjust.
What the Future Looks Like
As the pandemic rages, more reporters are embracing the idea that being attached to a media house is not the only way to practise. There has been an increase in the number of journalists quitting mainstream media and going into freelancing and consultancies. Media managers have also realised that it is not necessary to rent huge spaces for reporters to work. It is possible to interview news sources and file stories while working from home. This might mean that office spaces for newsrooms might get smaller as the focus is put on equipping journalists to work out of the office.