Chapters 11-14 in Social Media for Journalists talks about how journalists are beginning to focus on individualistic branding while also maintaining relevance in the competitive media market.
“There is a growing emphasis on personal branding and journalistic entrepreneurship within this landscape. We understand that brand is contentious, and it is not our intention to reduce journalists to a marketing phenomenon. We maintain, however, that brand identity is an important component of modern journalism practice, and reputation building: your stamp as a journalist. News correspondents are gaining authority and influence through social media and becoming ‘network nodes’, attracting significant audiences independent of their parent brands.” Pg. 177, Social Media for Journalists.
The above quote explains perfectly and explicitly the importance of branding and how social media plays a role.
It is certainly necessary and expected for journalists today to have their own established brand, but at the same time they still desire to report the news like they’re supposed to. There’s a fine line there because when you have a brand, you try to work within that brand. When a story comes up that needs reporting and it doesn’t fit within your brand, well then things start to get a little tricky.
“Recognizing a niche in the media landscape and having the ability to fill that gap with a relevant, timely and innovative product has always been the secret to publishing success.” Pg. 197, Social Media for Journalists. This is first and foremost when creating a brand for yourself. You need to find your niche and then once that’s done, it’s all about reporting stories that match up, which can be difficult. This is something that journalists have to learn and eventually do master.
Social media and the internet have become so domineering and as so, are taking over the realm of journalism. This isn’t wholly a bad thing because it makes a journalist’s job a little bit easier, but the most difficult thing it has done is requiring a certain thing from each journalist: a brand.
Branding can be difficult because there’s so many journalists out there and your all fighting to be unique, but a story can be spun a million different ways, depending on the journalist who’s writing it. Each journalist focuses on a different angle and takes the story in a new direction from there. That’s the great thing about journalism and even branding, sometimes you don’t have to fight to be different- it just naturally happens.