Sunday, 30 November 2008

Online journalism timeline: the evolution of news

Andy Dickinson's A timeline of online media landmarks embedded below, is based upon Mindy McAdams' Timeline of breaking and Paul Bradshaw’s “Are these the biggest moments in journalism-blogging history? showing how news reporting has changed since the evolution of online journalism from the 1990s to the present day.

The tools and skills of the multimedia journalist and citizen journalist have changed the landscape of journalism and the way the public receive and now interact with the news.

The technology has empowered those in the middle of an event to tell the story in words, pictures and video, live online before any mainstream media arrive, which has forced many of the mainstream media to bring this into the mix, perfectly illustrated by the Mumbai terror attack.

The BBC's online 'as it happened' updates contained many tweets from the ground. Although Mindy McAdams asks:

whether the mainstream media are superfluous in these situations - or can they perform a useful service to the public by sifting and filtering the incoming reports from the center of the events?
A trained journalist should be the gatekeeper for the final version of such stories but maybe social media coupled with the improvement of faster and more efficient mobile technology has allowed citizen journalism to find acceptance in the media?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

How can newspapers ride out the 'perfect storm'

Apologies for paste such a large chunk of Roy Greenslade's prelude to the Society of Editors conference this week, but it defines the current outlook for newspapers, and a strategy to save the very essence of what newspapers are and what journalism is, rather than just looking at bottom lines and treating companies as a business:

What editors should be thinking about instead is the development of new media journalism as a process. They should be thinking as journalists rather than as managers.

Unless journalists start thinking, debating and innovating in order to explore new methods, they will contribute not only to the collapse of their newspapers - and their own careers - but also to the failure of journalism itself.

What we need to do is find out how we can use the new media tools to take journalism on to a new stage. We need to convince publishers that they should give their journalists time, space and resources to explore new avenues, to build relationships with non-journalists, to stimulate a new form of journalism.

There will be mistakes and we will go down dead-ends (as we have done already), and it will be messy at the beginning. But the eventual benefits for journalists, for communities, for society will make that effort worthwhile.

James Robinson writing in The Observer highlights how the industry may never be the same once this tag-team storm of a worldwide recession and mass shift in media consumption have settled:

Newspapers have weathered recessions before, spending in the good times and cutting costs when revenue falls. 'It will sort out the men from the boys,' says one senior industry executive. But a structural shift, with advertising migrating online, represents a sterner challenge.

Few now doubt that the combination could kill off titles that have been publishing for generations.