The future of journalism is in safe hands according to the Executive Director of the Society of Editors who insists young journalists looking to break into the industry have every chance in succeeding.
Bob Satchwell was discussing the future of newspapers exclusively at a special talk as part of the Coventry Conversations series, which take place weekly at the City’s University.
With the industry currently in turmoil and the lack of jobs available, Satchwell insists that there are ‘exciting’ times ahead for ‘wannabe’ journalists and he would give anything to roll back the years and be a part of it.
“There are lots of stories about journalists being made redundant, which hides the fact that there are lots of other journalists that have actually been employed. There are more journalists now employed than there were ten years ago.
I wish I was 21 again and starting all over again. This is the most exciting time for young people to be getting into journalism, even though jobs are hard to come by at the moment.”
He added, “Those people who get good training in journalism and manage to find their way into a company and use all the things editors are looking for in five – ten years time will be having a great time.”
The former journalist also stated that the ‘Credit Crunch’ has had enormous effect on the journalism industry particularly regional and local newspapers, but he remains optimistic that newspapers will survive and come out stronger.
“I believe there will be a way out of this recession and in a way it will be a bit of a blessing in disguise because it will shake the industry up.”
“It’s not the not the end of the world for newspapers, it may be free in the future, because now we have a generation that expects to get its news for nothing.”
“I still believe there will still be a lot of papers, but there will be even more people reading the output of those papers on other platforms.”
Satchwell, whose career in the journalism industry has lasted almost forty years, also discussed the digital revolution to a strong crowd and emphasised its importance in terms of communication and the internet has changed the way people read news.
“We are going through huge structural change across the media. It’s been going on now for fifteen years, for the first five of those fifteen years most of the newspaper industry didn’t realise it was happening and it was called the internet!
This revolution is arguably bigger than Caxton because its affects absolutely everyone, all the billions of people of across the world and its effecting every part of our lives.”
What you have are huge media company’s who are providing news and other content on a whole range of platforms whether it’s the internet, mobiles phones, Twitter, things we haven’t thought of yet.”