The phrase “digital native” is often used in publishing to describe someone who cut their teeth online rather than in print. Conversely, when you say someone “is not a digital native” it can be a coded way of stating that the person in question is middle aged or older.
Many journalists who are not digital natives feel intimidated and threatened by the advent of new technology. Publications that were once healthy and powerful are dying all around them, and staff reductions have made every job feel like a game of musical chairs, where writers nervously circle around an ever diminishing group of positions, scrambling frantically once the music stops. Their younger colleagues are writing stories using a completely different mindset, in fact, it’s not even traditional “writing” and “stories” that occupy their time, but instead the digital native is engaged in “producing content.”
I am not a digital native, but rather than feel endangered, I feel empowered.
As a traditional journalist who’s thoroughly embraced the internet’s opportunities, I see myself as living in a sweet spot between knowing how to produce great stories, and being part of the journey toward creating so much more.
To that end, this year Aquatics International will, for the first time, have four digital editions. They are not magazines. Rather than contain a static photo with some copy wrapped around it, our digital product will be multi-dimensional featuring movement, live links, dynamic images and relevant, informative editorial content.
We will debut this new format next month with our Innovation Edition—a celebration of what’s new and exciting in aquatics. Our package will shine a light on a special group of industry professionals who are at the point of the spear when it comes to positive change from energy efficiency to reaching out to minority swimmers.
As the old REM song says, “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”