Victoria Lim, senior consumer investigative reporter at WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla., discussed life as a multi-media journalist working in a variety of media including a newspaper, a television news station and a website. Lim works for the Tampa News Center, which produces stories for both WLFA and for the Tampa Tribune, and TBO.com. All three news outlets are owned by the same company. While all three news outlets are owned by the same company, Lim is the only truly “converged” journalist working there. She produces consumer-investigative reports for WFLA, writes a weekly consumer column for the business section of the Tampa Tribune, and also produces reports for TBO.com that include video, text and links to relevant websites.
“The reason why I do it is, because, number one, there is always more information than I can fit into my television story,” says Lim. “Secondly, it’s for job preservation. As a woman in broadcasting, I have a very short shelf life compared to a man. That’s just the way it is. I have clips, I have URLs and I have tape. I can be a journalist in some media somewhere, even if its behind the scenes.”
While working in all three media provides Lim multiple ways to tell the same story and provide news readers and viewers with more complete coverage. “It allows you to be more in depth in some ways. Each medium has its own advantages for telling a story,” she said, noting that she can supplement a 90-second TV story with a more-detailed piece in the paper and provide readers with useful related links via the Internet.
“Converged” journalism its critics, Lim said, including those who say that converged journalism means there are fewer voices because one reporter is covering the story for three media, instead of three reporters. On the other hand, she notes, the Tampa Tribune wouldn’t have any consumer coverage in their business section, “because they don’t have a consumer reporter. I’m it.”
Working has a converged journalist requires good time management, an understanding of all three media and the different writing styles each requires, and understanding editors and managers, she said.