Thursday, December 31, 2009

The more we change, the more we stay the same

Speaking of reinventing journalism, I'm struck by the frequent similarities to journalism's history and its basics in stories talking about new media. For example, this excellent essay by Amanda Ernst on FishbowlNY about the future of media. She talks with Jim Gaines, former managing editor of several magazines who now is chief of the digital publication FLYP.

Gaines talks about journalism as a conversation with traditional journalism starting the conversation and citizen journalists and crowdsourcing moving it along. That's not all that different from what I've been teaching about journalism my entire career with the difference being that journalism not only starts the conversations but move it along. The theory is that no story is complete unto itself so a report of something sets in motion continued reporting on other facets that tell us more about the story until we have a rounded and reasonably complete story.

Like many other new media folk (and far too many in old media) he believes the old system, as he put it, "We come from a model where you publish something once on paper and it goes into a library and it's basically dead." Of course the model was that something was published once, then more and more information was gathered and reported and the stories, far from being dead, were living, growing and becoming more complete.

Still, Gaines has several good ideas about how things might happen in this brave new world.

No comments: