Stepping outside your job description

One thing I didn’t have time to blog from the morning session was about a project by YLE, the Finnish public broadcaster.

It was a huge cross platform experience called Rappin with Sebelius, to attract a younger audience to a 40-year-old music festival.

They had SMS ring tones, a rich website with community tools including blogs, and they streamed not only much of the music but also commentary.

Producer Anna-Kaarina Kiviniemi talked about some of the challenges. “It requires stepping out of your job description.”

Her teams needed to forget what they were originally supposed to do to complete the task at hand, she said.

“We had different tools, different working cultures. It was quite a challenge to understand each other,” she added.

This still remains one of the biggest challenges with multimedia production – bridging cultures.

I can only think of one time in the last 10 years when I said: “That isn’t my job” (And I only did that because I had been doing so many things at the time that weren’t my job that it was the straw that broke my back that day.)

I speak whenever invited to journalism students, and they all ask me what they need to learn. They ask about various applications or technologies.

And I say, applications come and go, but you need to be ready for a lifetime of learning. Also, as Jeff Jarvis often says, burn your business cards. Job titles are more restrictive than they are helpful at this stage.

As multimedia storytelling develops, specialities and specialists will appear, but we’re far from that. Right now, we need radically multi-skilled journalists and media creators.

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