Emerging Journalist Winner Shows Journalism Going Digital

By Blaine Grisak
Online Reporter Project

A common theme in many of the workshops and panels at the Pennsylvania Press Conference this weekend has been how journalism is no longer a “one-trick pony.” It’s much more than just words on paper as the industry has expanded into the digital world.

This has been proven from the very beginning with the first workshop being called “Changing Newsroom Culture: Lead the Integration of Video into Your Newsroom.”

It would only seem appropriate that this year’s  Edith Hughes Emerging Journalist award (for someone in the business three years or less) was given to a digital specialist. The winner is Joel Shannon of the York Daily Record.

“I was surprised. I knew I was nominated for the award, but I’m not a typical journalist. I’ve done a lot of digital presentations, writing videos, and drafting videos. So, I was surprised and really grateful. It was really cool.”

Shannon isn’t the typical journalist, but he’s done it all. Once wanting to be teacher, he fell in love with journalism his sophomore year of college becoming the editor of his school paper. He then went on to intern with the Lebanon Daily News.

Now, Shannon is the audience analyst of the York Daily Record where he uses data to help writers make well-informed coverage decisions and then he also creates motion graphics, interactive, custom calculators, and infographics for the website.

“Right now, when I won this, I was the innovation editor, which is designed to work on whatever is the next big project. Now I’m moved to audience analyst which is kind of helping journalists focus on growing their audience, and who know’s what’s next. It’s just exciting.”

On top of winning the emerging journalist award, Shannon was a panelist on the News Nerdery for Audience Engagement panel which discussed how video, data visualizations, and interactive elements can engage an audience.



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