Nov 01, 2012— read in full
Technology journalism explained
The world of tech journalism
Technology journalism covers a wide range of subjects, including:
- Cutting-edge technology developments, like new kinds of battery or quantum computers
- News about the tech business, such as companies merging
- Technology law and politics, such as censorship or internet monitoring laws
- Reviews of new products
- Tech culture
- Technology tips and advice
These different areas are often suited to different kinds of journalism. For example, a print magazine like Wired will often have more long, involved pieces about culture, while many blogs focus on news and rumour since they can stay up to date more easily.
Although traditional media like print and TV are still involved technology journalism, most companies producing them will also publish online, and will often create extra content specifically for the internet, such as blogs, podcasts and videos.
Getting into tech journalism
Getting into mainstream tech journalism is similar to getting into other areas of journalism. Formal journalism training will be useful, but you will also need experience and plenty of persistence. For more specialist areas, such as trade magazines, you may also need particular qualifications or experience in the specific area you are covering.
Going it alone
Technology provides better opportunities than most for doing your own thing online, simply because people who follow technology are more likely to get their news from blogs, podcasts and other sources. However, this also means that there is more competition, so it takes hard work to build an audience for online technology journalism. You'll need to:
- Be consistent: a blog that is updated regularly will attract more readers. Set yourself a minimum schedule, and stick to it.
- Work out a niche: You might be interested in all elements of technology, but you'll find it tough to compete if you spread yourself too thin. Picking a narrower subject that you're really enthusiastic about makes it easier to build a good reputation.
- Think about your audience: Journalists always have to think about their audience, but tech journalists need to give extra thought to the way people will read their content. For example, they may be more likely to want to read a blog using RSS subscriptions. You should also think about whether your presentation matches your content: if your blog about smartphones doesn't look good on a phone, it might hurt people's confidence in what you have to say.
Making a living from independent projects is very difficult, but even if they don't pay the bills, they can be a fantastic way to build your skills and reputation and help you find a job or freelance work. Find out more about how a blog can benefit your career.