December 11, 2009
According to this fascinating debate on the future of journalism as digitalisation advances ever further, it looks as if the human-based selection of news and content – particularly online – could transform into something very much based on the reduction of human inputs and randomness, instead surpassed by technical selection and internet-assisted preferences.
I’ve long advocated traditional journalists embrace the digital challenges, stop moaning and start upskilling. To an extent, this is already happening with online Press, as their headlines (for example) are written with keywords attractive to Google news taking priority over emotive human choices. Interesting times indeed.
Part of the debate around the continued industrialisation of journalism – and, for me, the wider structurisation of content production and distribution – is actually concerned more with the shift of power amongst the publishers: look at the ongoing Murdoch vs Google debate in recent weeks.
Here we see an ageing, old-school media mogul firmly rooted in the past and intent on grasping hold of a slipping power struggle in which the audiences are pulling all the punches.
The power of Search and real-time audience requirements will probably be the demise of Murdoch in the end, but it’s the way in which journalists adapt (or not) which will see the final transformation of how content will be produced and delivered both online and offline. Content-producers not monitoring with extreme prejudice this evolution do so at their collective peril.
So, is content production and distribution going to be owned by the machines, or will human Hacks triumph?
If it comes down to the usual method, you flip the coin. I’m calling Heads on behalf of those who welcome digitalisation.
August 5, 2009
According to this story, with nearly 300 companies going down in the period up to June of this year. What does it really mean?
Well, apart from a newly-redundant editorial and design pool of media types pounding on doors for work, there is the discontinuity effect on ex-clients: where do they go to get their account work delivered?
Maybe some of the ex-employees deliver on a freelance basis to some of the old clients, but this is only a piecemeal and short-term solution, particularly if a client has been used to getting full-service Agency account handling.
With this level of media companies going to the wall, more mergers look likely – and when the editorial power lies in the hands of the few, we know from experience that it is the employees who usually suffer, as their job choices are permanently limited.
Great advice here for journalism students on securing new online opportunities, but what about seasoned Hacks? What lies ahead for them – apart from expensive re-training? And can any of them adapt to online journalism? Place your bets please.
July 29, 2009
It could be argued that in these ever-advancing times of digitalisation, the trusted press release has little or no purpose for the modern and evolving newsroom. Not so. A good press release, well, written, impeccably delivered, and with stunning press photography will always be of value to the time-pressed Editor.
After throwing my thoughts on the subject into the arena in the past, there are further valuable hints and tips here on that trickiest of subjects – the winning press release. There are many, many PRs that need to read, digest, and utilise the information shared.
Great inputs, as always, here from Jeff Jarvis – and yes, collaboration surely lies the grassroots of survival for journalism.
But, the biggest challenge is surely how to get competing newspaper publishers to collaborate to create sustainable opportunities: I recall working on a newsdesk within a regional publisher delivering two local dailies across a region, and being amazed to see no tangible co-operation or collaboration between the journalists, editors and number-crunchers there – and they were part of the same newspaper Group! The attitude was “If it isn’t directly in my remit, I don’t want to know”. And this is typical in regional journalism across the larger publishers across the UK.
So, Jeff, in the light of a complete lack of any desire, motivation or reason for these guys to collaborate – even in the midst of fighting for commercial survival – how exactly will they come to a place of collaboration? I am struggling to see solutions.