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Friday, June 10, 2005

Blogboy Tells All, Describes New Media Newsroom, How New Journalists Will Work (Many Already Are!)

BuzzMachine.com's Jeff Jarvis - aka "Blogboy," courtesy of Howard Kurtz - may have the fastest mouth in the Blogosphere, but he's also one of the sharpest when it comes to understanding what is happening to the MSM and through the New Media.

One of the biggest challenges for MSMers is getting out of the Old Media way of thinking that is anchored around the concepts of the single hard-copy or broadcast being the basic news product and the daily deadline cycle required to produce that product. Thinking in those terms is a prescription for death these days, but that fact doesn't make it any less difficult for folks who have operated in traditional newsrooms throughout their careers to start thinking in completely new ways.

But it can be done and Jarvis is the proof. He has a superb point-by-point summary of the major changes that must be made to convert the old newsroom into the New Media newsroom. For anybody who cares about how the news is produced, Jarvis' summary should be fascinating reading, but just consider his description of the new deadline cycle that is emerging:

"The way newsrooms operate today, it's hard to capture and share the news as soon as we know it. It's also hard to capture the value of a reporter's voice and perspective. And it's hard to make news conversational when it's all fed into a one-way pipe.
"So imagine if blogging software became the publishing system of the newsroom. Imagine if reporters were told to put everything into that system: They come back from reporting a story and write up the pitch or skedline, as we say, with the essence of the story. That reporter or an editor could with one button publish that to the internet.
"They could link to the AP story that has more details until the reporter writes the bigger piece, if that's even necessary. The public could weigh in and ask the reporter questions or share knowledge to improve the story before it is "finished" and published. They could do this even before it is reported, when reporters ask for help.
"The reporter could post the transcript of her interviews, in case anyone wants to see that. The reporter could post audio interviews, photos, video scenes. The reporter and editors could ask the public to add their photos and stories.
"And after the story is published -- or, as we like to say, posted -- the public can still join in and add facts or viewpoints or links. And the reporter and the public can find themselves in a conversation about the story.
"In short: Anything can be posted and made public anytime."

Don't be thrown off by that last sentence. If perhaps not quite literally true, like it or not, it certainly represents the controlling assumption of the New Media reality. Jarvis' post is rich within insight and I strongly encourage you to read it, think about it and tell me (and Blogboy!) what you think about it.