Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A newsroom with possibilities

The Times Picayune says it's cutting 84 of the newsroom’s 173 employees.   That still leaves a sizable newsroom.

If these are multimedia journalists who utilize computer-assisted reporting, they can break a whole lot of news.

The key to a successful news operation is to do news.  The key to building an audience is simple:  do stories that matter; not blather that doesn't. 

Journalists can't waste time wringing their hands about what was.  The typewriter is dead.  The film camera is dead.  The print newsroom is dead.   Such things are now the province of historians.  Journalists look at the now and look at the future.   The future is overflowing with great stories waiting to be done.    There are too many human microphone stands; that makes for all the more possibilities for the journalist who actually does what a journalist is supposed to do. 

There are no newspaper reporters.   There are no television reporters.   There are no radio reporters.   There are multimedia reporters.   Those who recognize that will get excited at the incredible reporting possibilities today's technology allows.  I can do a video interview with anyone in the world who has high speed access.   I can produce video projects for a fraction of what they cost years ago.

So why do we still see newspaper web site after newspaper web site that looks a decade out of date?  Why are so many stories still print centric when newspapers died more than a decade ago?   Answer:  management is finally doing now what it needed to do more than a decade ago.

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