Skills not enough: Dr An Nguyen on journalism and technologies

Strong skills are not enough for journalistic successes in the fast-changing world of new media technologies, according to BU’s Dr An Nguyen in a studio interview on a popular Indonesian news portal on June 23.

Dr Nguyen, a Senior Academic in Journalism at BU’s Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community, told Okezone’s primarily young audiences that technologies are just a means to an end and to use that means effectively and efficiently, journalists need not only a mastery of necessary skills but also a professional attitude.

“You won’t become a good journalist without a professional attitude,” he said. “And before you want to become a good, successful journalist in the online world, you need to be a good, good, good, good journalist in the traditional sense first.”

“That would mean you need to be a good, sober writer. You need the competence to handle news. You need to have the mentality of being in a service to no other interest (than the public’s).”

Dr Nguyen also stressed the importance of writing, saying journalistic successes in whatever medium – radio, TV, or online – require the very fundamental skill of writing.

Dr Nguyen visited Okezone, which attracts about 190 million page views per month, as part of a recent research and consultancy trip to Southeast Asia. During the trip, he delivered several keynote and guest lectures in Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as interviewing about 40 junior and senior journalists for a project funded by the World Federation of Science Journalists.