Modern Turkmenistan is in the stage of rapid modernization of the mass media. In this process, the creation of a broad base of multimedia journalism is of key importance. To date, the print information editions of the country have undergone a transformation, the aim of which was to adapt the national media to today’s digital media environment. As is known, this process is actively ongoing.
A well-known public activist of Turkmenistan, an experienced journalist, Editor-in-Chief of Oil and Gas Newspaper Ussa Ussaev kindly agreed to answer the questions of a correspondent of the CentralAsia.news media portal about the main algorithms for the professional development of Turkmen journalists in regards to the mega-speed development of the genres which deliver information through digital formats.
Please tell us about the preconditions for reprofiling?
It is well known that the geographical and global spread of the Internet gave a major boost to the development of multimedia journalism. Since the late 20th century, this process has become accelerated and continuous. And then the accelerated evolution of heterogeneous means of information towards multimedia, combining new forms and methods of journalistic work, materialized more unambiguously.
However, this process took time as well. At first, the print editions of our country that went online did not have their own website, but were confined to electronic versions in the form of simple text files. In a short period, journalism adapted to the new format, multimedia websites of print editions began to develop, and online projects, which initially did not have an “offline” version, appeared.
How have these processes affected traditional formularies and readership?
Today, when the world market of paper newspapers sees the decline in circulation and an outflow of advertisers, the newly created websites are acquiring the status of full-fledged media, and their Internet audience is growing rapidly.
As a fact, Turkmenistan keeps up with the times. Modern multimedia journalism that is currently very popular in the world is rapidly “gaining momentum” in our country as well. Moreover, at this stage media editions play a huge role in the effective development of the state and society.
New journalism is capable of quickly delivering up-to-date information to a wide range of readers by distributing content through two or more communication channels, or in several formats through the global network.
What professional innovations have been brought in?
This method of delivering information is closely related to media convergence, which ensures the merging of technologies used to transmit data in a combination of different methods. In this regard, it is important that professional growth begins with this.
The field of journalistic activities is expanding; a journalist must hone the skills of a television broadcaster, photographer, radio and IT specialist. The possession of professional speech is not dispensed. Thus, a modern journalist combines the skills of a photographer, a video operator, an infographer, an interactive technician and a text specialist.
I can say with confidence that multimedia journalism in this sense is on a par with television, radio reporting and conservative journalism.
How to compete with the army of bloggers?
Internet journalism has a great influence on content creation and consumption. This journalism has firmly established itself as a separate direction in the media, having a serious impact on the specifics of the creation of the material, the work of the editorial staff and the nature of the presentation of information.
Certainly, contemporary users have the opportunity to participate in content creation, the sphere of bloggers and social networks are developing, and this creates high competition between professional journalists and amateur writers.
To excel in this fierce competition, the media therefore has to attract and hold attention of the reader in more and more new ways, usually visual ways.
Does the transition to the “digit” dramatically change the functionality of the editorial staff?
The specifics of creating content in the frame of online journalism set some rules for editorial staffs. It should be noted that the multimediaization of journalism fundamentally changes the usual functions of a professional journalist and editorial staff.
Today, more than ever, the key positions for the consumer are the speed and variety of information “cookery”, respectively, the editorial staff has a high demand for a “universal journalist”.
Such a specialist should be able to quickly provide news, an analytical opinion, or even an environmental study. At the same time, as I noted above, he should have the skills of journalistic and creative writing, photo illustration, video editing and conducting popular express interviews.
What would you wish for your colleagues?
I would very much like to wish my colleagues that when creating electronic media, editorial staffs have an in-depth understanding of this specific and unique creative process. First of all, it is very important to be interested in its development and be able to appreciate every accomplishment of the creative team.
In modern conditions of development, our state is experiencing an unprecedented revival, which many generations of ancestors have dreamed of for centuries.
In this regard, a large thematic field for fruitful work and self-realization extends in front of Turkmen journalists. I am convinced that thanks to their talent and professional growth, the world will quickly learn in new, bright and original genres about the grandiose achievements of independent Turkmenistan.