Jobs proves game-changer for journalism

When Bob Stewart first joined Ohio University’s faculty, he was a self-proclaimed “Windows man.”

A few days ago, the director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism returned his university-issued laptop because his Mac had replaced the PC as his computer of choice.

“The day after his death I think everyone using an Apple product is realizing the profound impact Jobs has had on the world,” Stewart said.

The biggest effect Apple products have had on the world is providing the platform for everyone else to build off, Stewart said.

“The magic of Apple is that it allowed anyone to reimagine how his or her job can be done,” Stewart said.

A journalist with an iPhone, for example, can shoot video for TV news, write an article for print, record an interview or take a photo, said Stewart. With its smart phones, Apple has provided the ultimate tool for the “one-man band” entrepreneur, he added.

“It’s a phone,” said Stewart, “but at the same time, it’s a million other things.”

While Jobs changed the game for small, single-man operations, he also pushed the established corporate media to move to the digital landscape, said Hans Meyer, assistant journalism professor.

Jobs’ attention to design and detail mattered most to individual consumers, but his broad vision of the media’s future will be felt for years, said Meyer.

“The tablet and the possibility of it taking over for traditional print media is a huge change, but it’s exciting,” said Meyer. “And it basically started with Apple.”

Looking forward to Apple’s future, both Stewart and Meyer said the loss of Jobs will be felt but the company will survive.

“He will be missed,” said Meyer. “His attention to detail and design will be hard to replace.”

Stewart said that although Apple products will still have a touch of Jobs for years to come, he is unsure if his talent for innovation can be emulated.

“(After Jobs’ death,) I keep wondering,” said Stewart, “What magical device won’t we have now?”

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