About

Marion Halftermeyer is a reporter with Debtwire, based in New York City. She covers the oil, gas, energy, and mining space for the middle market. Marion is graduate of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Journalism program. 

Marion comes from an economics background and has a key interest in doing numbers-related journalism. Marion is pursuing a journalism career writing about corporate news and finance. 

Originally from France, Marion has lived in South Carolina, USA, Manchester, UK, Ontario and Quebec in Canada, Zug, Switzerland, Boston and New York City in the US. She now temporarily lives in Paris, France. Marion has an affinity for travel and has been to Egypt, Oman, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Cuba, and South Africa, among others. Marion is also an avid skier/snowboarder, scuba diver, and figure skater.

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The visual representation for “Between Big Cities, a Road Passes the Russia Left Behind” re-inspired me. I say re-inspired because a year ago I read “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek“. It was similar to the article about Russia in that it used visually appealing graphics to tell a story. I thought the use of such graphics was an anomaly. Some innovative way of thinking that hadn’t been fleshed out yet, as if a journalist with an interest in coding suddenly had a bright idea and said “let’s try telling the story using an interactive.”

This is where I see journalism going: in a more visual direction that isn’t necessarily limited to broadcast. Slowly, we are realizing that the mediums in which we choose to tell stories are not absolute and can in fact intersect in ways that tell a story in a much more compelling way. However, I believe that the core elements of what makes journalism what it is and not propaganda, advertisement etc. need to remain as they have since its inception despite the introduction of new mediums. The scientific and objective reporting method is one we should always strive for no matter how the way we tell stories changes. I also believe there is no place for opinion in journalism besides the opinion of the people in the stories we tell. Or opinion based on facts such as in opinion columns.

We can live without extremism.

In terms of print journalism, I think we are in a similar era of change to the one that occurred when radio was invented, and then again when TV was invented. Now, graphics and interactive are here and combined with the digital world this makes things all the more exciting. I hope to see everything move digitally. This is not to say there will be eradication of a daily newspaper or the magazine. They can exist in the digital format, sent daily via an app to subscribers and to be read on tablets and thus mimic reading a magazine or a newspaper that is in paper.

By moving everything digitally we allow for multiple mediums to converge to provide readers/viewers/citizens with different avenues to be able to conceptually understand a story. It is important to note that each element (video, photo, audio, graphic interactive, text) should be stand-alone and not replace one another. There is no value in repetition of the same information. If it is to be repeated it must be done so in a way that sheds new light or a new way of looking at the story at hand.

Print news organization could be the ones that morph into the ones that produce content in this way. Breaking news and stories that have no need for a compelling visual graphic will always exist so for that I propose a headline-style news section of the digital paper—quick blurbs of need-to-know news.

With more components to a story, there will be a need for more collaboration and specialization. Some reporters will be headline news reporters. Others will be interactive journalists, and still others will be long-form investigative reporters. There will be a need for more photographers and videographers as well as those who can produce succinct audio clips. This view counteracts the idea that all journalists will soon become multimedia journalists.  Each individual component is a story that is a part of the larger story. The whole can only be as good as the sum of its parts and we therefore need people to specialize rather than to diversify their talents. If we want to be timely, we need to work together and let those who have the specified skills do those specified tasks.

A view of the future a decade from now in my world is one where collaborative work is almost always the case and not a medium is left behind. Except for paper, I guess.

 

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