For journalists, the opportunities for diversifying your craft are increasing at a rapid pace. Multi-platform journalism is the name of the game, and no one knows this better than Atlanta-based journalist Dominick Brady. I recently had a chance to talk with Dominick about what he does, his perspective on journalism, and his future projects.
Maurice Cherry: Tell our 10,000 Words audience a little about what you do.
Dominick Brady: I’m an independent multi-platform journalist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Traffic reporting for Clear Channel radio is my day job but I also freelance quite a bit. My freelance work has focused primarily on arts and entertainment. I’ve worked in Internet radio as a features contributor for East Village Radio, an audio documentary series producer for Brooklyn Radio, as a blogger and audio features producer for CentricTV; a video features producer, blogger and contributing writer for Atlanta’s Creative Loafing and a features contributor for The Smoking Section. My passion is radio journalism. I’m a member of the Association of Independents in Radio, but I’ve found myself returning to writing for print and the web for the bulk of my freelance work.
MC: How do you think the current digital landscape affects how journalism and reporting works?
DB: I think it’s an exciting time. There are now more formats and mash-up possibilities available in the journalist’s tool box. I’m really interested in data visualization, data reporting and how they can impact how both journalists and the public look at everything from politics to the music industry. When I look at everything from open source data tools to mobile apps for uploading reports into established broadcast industry platforms, to curation platforms and the capability of digital tools like the iPhone, I can’t help but be excited.
We also now have the opportunity to push content out and to find and engage audiences in ways that can turn stories into rich conversations. I’m not sure how much reporting itself actually changes. The tools and formats may change, but many of the basic tenets of quality journalism remain the same.
What I find interesting is the current conversation between the likes of Clay Shirky, Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen about objectivity, opinion, and format. The issues continue to come up in one well-written blog post after another nearly every week. How different is this dialogue from similar discussions in past decades and past technological advances? I’m not sure. What we do know is that the money pot has a leak in it. Instead of looking for the panic button, I’m eager to see what the future will be.
MC: What are some of your biggest challenges in working with journalism and technology/new media today?
DB: I guess finding work that matters to me and still pays the bills is the biggest challenge. I am optimistic about the process and capability of journalism in the digital era but I’ve still got to admit that funding issues impact my work. There is no denying that. Another issue I have is keeping pace with gear and other tools. Sometimes it feels like there is a new version of a product I currently use debuting every few weeks. It’s a never ending opportunity to learn. It’s both challenging and exhilarating.
MC: What advice would you give to any up-and-coming or early-career journalists?
DB: Play. Be open minded. Find out what tools, approaches and ideas are out there and just play around with them. Seek out journalists doing the kind of work you want to do and use their composite as a model for your own career. Don’t be afraid to iterate.
MC: Is there anything else you would like to share, such as any upcoming projects of yours we should keep our eyes on?
DB: Late this summer we begin shooting a documentary I’ve been working on for the past two years. It’s called Headland & Delowe, and its focus is an in-depth look at Atlanta’s hip-hop scene from the late 1970s through the 1980s. It’s going to be a lot of fun.