Journalism: Changing challenges with chances?

By Ronny Taferner

Paul Buchacher, news anchor at Antenne Salzburg, explains why journalists have to deal with bigger challenges and how the future of journalism will look like.

In times of fake news, social media and public relations challenges for journalists are becoming more difficult. Paul Buchacher (32) is news anchor at Antenne Salzburg, a private radio station in Austria. He has worked as a journalist since 2004, including for the magazine “News” and the public-sector broadcaster “ORF III”.

What is he biggest challenge for journalists nowadays?
The high workload, as you have to handle many different topics with scarce time resources. Furthermore, the compaction of information has become more extreme. Take, for example news ticker or news websites where you must keep the information to a minimum.

What changes have you experienced during the last years concerning journalism?
The requirement to be well informed regarding all issues, since journalists are required to cover all sorts of topics. More and more “expert knowledge” is essential to make news stories.

Has your daily workload changed over the last years?
Yes. You have to deal with more topics as the „amount of information“ has been increasing due to the digitalization. It’s necessary to be open-minded for new topics to survive as a journalist.

What are the reasons for the change?
The changes in society, economy and politics. Therefore, you have to deal with new topics and there is the need to do further education. Technical handlings are changing continuously. By the way, journalism is life-long learning.

How has the importance of journalism changed?
It has become much more important. In a world characterized by the minimalization of information people want to have serious information sources they can trust, and which give them orientation and knowledge. There is more fake news and public relations, therefore good journalism is indispensable.

What is your view on the future of journalism?
There will be „new ways“ of telling news-stories and entertainment. Furthermore, there will be an increased convergence of different media types like TV, audio/radio and online. So, for instance you will be able to listen to a podcast with additional information concerning a special topic while you’re reading an online article.

Are there future developments that concern you?
The increasing cost pressure and the lack of time – that will aggravate quality journalism.

If you think of all these challenges – do you still enjoy being a journalist?
Yes, definitely. I love reporting about social and political issues and informing people. Every day I learn something new, meet new people and make new experiences. Who else has the chance to interview famous politicians or celebrities? And every job has challenges, sometimes challenges make the job even more exciting. How boring would be a life when everything always works?