New media: ‘If you want to be a journalist, be curious’
The first step to becoming a
journalist, according to French journalist Julien Le Bot, is to be curious.
Bot, who primarily works in digital media, believes that philosophers and
journalists have similar characteristics. He added that when he was younger, he
wanted to be a philosopher but ended up working in journalism.
talking about the do’s and don’ts of journalism, Le Bot quoted a couplet from French
poet, Charles Pierre Baudelaire, to explain the importance of ‘strolling’. He added that
journalists don’t just have to be curious but need to be professional
strollers as well in order to get the job done.
French journalist said that just like any other field of work, journalism, also
needs to catch up with new practices.
“In France, the most innovative projects are produced
outside the newsrooms,” he said while talking toThe Express Tribune. “After holding
workshops in Karachi, I have come to realise that the people here have a lot of
potential to explore the emerging and challenging avenues of journalism.” He added that
along with new practices, the method of story-telling also has to change – take up issues
and make them more exciting.
33-year-old journalist said that long form journalism was important. “If you have a
story, you engage web developers and use tools to make it interactive and work
on it just like any other project,” he said. “The pressure in a newsroom is such that it reaches the
point of redundancy. This demotivates journalists from their goals and thus to
keep the job moving forward, new modes need to adopted.”
talking about his own career, Le Bot said that he started working for France24,
when he was just 23-years-old and then started a media boot camp called 4M
Mashriq, for new media startups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine.
trip to Pakistan made him realise that he can take the camp a step further and
bring in more training sessions for young journalists who want to explore new
avenues of journalism.
“I left routine journalism because I wanted to be free to
do what I wanted to work on,” he said. “I did not want to depend on the agenda of newsrooms.” Le Bot added
that social media and online newspapers have more readership than broadcast or
print. “In France, it’s only the older lot that watches television,” he said. “The young people
are only interested in social media, Twitter, for them is like a newspaper.” He added that
it was just a matter of time that the same trends would be followed in
company, Yakwala, which is a phonetically arranged word for ‘what happens is
now’ provides services to new media startups, civil society
organisations and NGOs for making their projects more relevant and digital.
“When you become an online journalist, the entire world is
your audience,” he said. “You are free, independent and more vocal in what you want
to do and achieve.” He added that for him every journalist must become an
online journalist by starting a blog and following up on tools that tell them
about their readership and followers.