What’s Needed in the Newsroom in 2008

January 7, 2008

Via Romenesko:

Even at the college level, where you might expect all students to be on board with the notion of a digital-centric, publish-it-right-now, multi-media approach to news, I still run into budding journalists who cling to the hope of finding a traditional newspaper reporting job. Especially in the newspaper profession, the notion — outdated, in my view — that print still reigns supreme remains strong...

One thing that’s important in effecting cultural change in a newsroom is to get everyone involved in using new forms of digital media. Imagine if everyone in your news organization maintained a blog, an active page on Facebook, and participated in other innovative new media forms (e.g., Twitter). By actually living the digital life and embracing it (even if you’re forced to by your boss), you’ll better understand how the modern consumer interacts with media and news. [source]

Yikes. Full disclosure–I Facebook, but am growing more frustrated with it by the day. I deleted my Myspace, and I don’t Twitter. And I still like holding a paper paper. And am still clinging to the idea that “they” won’t “make” me take pictures or do video, because a visual person I ain’t.

But of course I know Steve Outing in this column is entirely correct. We’re all going to be dragged kicking, screaming, and clutching piles of newsprint into the Internet. Folk like me will have an easier time of it, but I’m still stubborn and I admit it.

Does anyone reading this Tweet? Can somebody explain the appeal, or is it just one of those fads destined to disappear?


5 Responses to “What’s Needed in the Newsroom in 2008”

  1. Steve Outing Says:

    I can’t predict with confience whether Twitter (et al) will be a long-term trend or die out. But I’ll remind you that when blogging first appeared, many smart media folks thought that was a fad. Tweeting is just another (shorter) form of blogging. My guess is that it’s got some staying power.

  2. Rachel Says:

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for commenting. You bring up an interesting point about blogging. I for sure was all over blogging when it first appeared, but I was so much younger then… (ha ha). Maybe I’m just a dinosaur in a 20-something’s clothing.

  3. Lis Garrett ~ a writer's woolgatherings Says:

    Hi Rachel ~ Thanks for visiting my site! Although I’ve heard of Twitter, I’ve never used it. As far as I’m concerned, there can be too much digital. Aside from my two blog sites, I also publish on HubPages, have a contract to write web content, have a paid blogging position, and am waiting to hear about a job with b5Media. What I am *really* hoping for is to be successful in print publication, which is what I have just started learning. I like holding paper, too, and I want other people to hold paper with my name on it . . .

    Lis Garrett

  4. Rachel Says:

    Thanks for commenting, Lis. It does seem like us Twitless (I just made that up and am rather proud of it) are in the minority here.

  5. Danny Lucas Says:

    I lost a lot of respect for people who Twitter.
    They write well, have meaningful thought, and present themselves well in their chosen forum.

    But restrict them to “what are you doing NOW in 140 words please”, leads to “Just brewed a cup of java”,
    “I am thinking of getting a pizza”, “I notice it is 46 degrees out” and “Installed a roll of Charmin to ribbon the gift that keeps on giving”. WHAAAT??

    If I were a hiring person, I would skip all social networks and go first to Twitter to see who I can eliminate the fastest. There, folks prioritize the minutia of their day; and, in retrospect, Twitter always makes one look like a Twit. Scroll back to anyone even 3 weeks ago and it is insane what people thought relevant. I would not want these people on any staff I was on.

    With respect to the link on getting the news in micro, and first and fast, you are too slow again.

    CallWave lets anyone call my voicemail box and talk.
    Keyboard 85 wpm and you are swift; talk 85 wpm and you are casket bound. People say a sentence or two into my voicemail. CallWave (in California) takes the spoken word and sends it ourt in text simultaneously to the venue of choice. I have chosen cell phone and Laptop. The same message hits BOTH in a minute after the call. You can include faxes and all kinds of gizmos. These two work for me for I am nearly deaf.
    People can now “talk” instead of text message. I get it now, not later.

    I have spoken with CallWave about lengthening the stream from a short burst to endless conversation scrolling text (the technology is there). I suspect every courtroom in the land can be CallWave connected and bye-bye stenographers and court reporters (if you are studying those fields; stop that).

    Twitter is the most juvenile techno item since Pac Man.
    When is the last time you saw Pac Man and Pac Woman chomping dots? THAT is how long Twitter will chomp reputations of otherwise, respectable, thinking people.

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