Qwoted is committed to exploring the current state of the media by speaking to industry leaders and educating future generations of media professionals. What has social media and technological innovation brought to the table? What can we expect for the future of journalism?
After graduating with a print journalism degree from the University of Arkansas in 2003, Jeff Della Rosa began his journalism career as a news clerk at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Springdale, AR. For the next decade he would develop his skill set by writing for several different Gazette publications. Della Rosa explored freelancing and social media advertising before joining the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and its sister publication Talk Business & Politics in 2016. Della Rosa currently covers business topics and the trucking/transportation industry. After working as a reporter for nearly twenty years, he is confident that the media industry will prevail amidst the adversity it faces. “The journalism industry is a business, and I expect it will continue to evolve like any other. As long as there is a desire for the truth, the profession will remain alive and well,” says Della Rosa.
The profession of journalism feels more attacked today than in a long time, but also highly necessary. Do you feel that’s true, and if so, why?
JDR: With the constant talk of fake news over the past five or six years, I hope that doing the best work possible each day will be enough to help us evolve past this issue, which to some degree, I feel that social media has perpetuated.
What do you think about the role of technology in journalism? Is it helpful? harmful? Something in between?
JDR: The evolution of technology in journalism, particularly the introduction of social media, is beneficial in that it can instantly provide information. However, this information isn’t always vetted with reliable sources and facts, and we see how easily inaccurate information spreads in comparison. It’s all about the way we use these platforms that leads to helpful or harmful results.
What are some of the best practices from journalism’s past that you feel need to be utilized now?
JDR: We need to spend more time researching the truth for ourselves instead of waiting for the next post on social media to tell us what to believe or an ad to tell us what to do. We control what we watch and what we read, regardless of the medium. Let’s stop trying to play the victim and take some responsibility for our actions. Do your own research, and double check your sources.
What learnings have made a tremendous difference in your career?
JDR: Listening to your peers and advisers, even if you disagree, can lead to turning points and impactful insight in your work.
What do you see as some of journalism’s biggest potential pitfalls? What gives you hope for the future of journalism?
JDR: The frequent rush to be the first one with the story. While everyone wants to be first, it’s better to be the one who gets the story right first. The extra time taken to fact check and vet your sources will save you from an embarrassing mistake and prevent the spread of inaccurate information.
As for my hope for the future of journalism, I believe that the members of the industry will continue to seek out the truth. This pursuit has always been my focus in my career, as I believe truth and credibility go hand in hand. If we stay laser-focused on the truth, I feel the media will continue to be a credible business.