Tag Archives: gannett

Try it, refine it – or throw it away

Try new stuff! If it doesn’t work, just stop doing it. Then move on and try something else.

That’s what Mackenzie Warren, director of content at Gannett Digital (that’s the digital division of what’s currently the USA’s largest media company), advised a group of Norwegian media executives at the Norwegian Institute of Journalism this week.

Now, let me first point out that Mackenzie Warren has been a journalist since the age of 14. He’s been a photographer, reporter, online editor, managing editor… just about anything you can be in a newsroom. Except that at Gannett, and at Fort Myers News-Press, where he worked before heading up the digital content section at Gannett, they no longer call it a newsroom.

“We’ve done away with the word “newsroom”. There’s no news in a newsroom (desk reporters are often the last to hear of a story). Plus, it’s not news we do – it’s aquiring, processing and distributing information”, he said.

Now, the Gannett publications have more of a control centre where section editors (sports, news etc., not print, online or TV) monitor the competition and also what the readers and viewers are responding to at any time. Continue reading

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3 wishes for social media in 2009

This was published as a guest post on Shane Richmond’s Daily Telegraph Technology blog:

Media organisations are still barely getting their heads around social media. They look at a conversation and see ‘vox pops’; they look at a community and see a market. They ask for ‘Your pictures’ and then complain when they get 1000 images of a mild snowfall.

They ghettoise viewers into 60 second slots at the end of the news bulletin, or ‘Have Your Say’ sections on the website. They can see the use of blogs and Twitter when they can’t access a disaster area and are desperate for news, but the rest of the time complain that they’re ‘only for geeks’ or ‘full of rumour’. And they advertise, when they should socialise. Continue reading

Blogs and Investigative Journalism: sourcing material

The third part of this draft book chapter (read part one here and part two here) looks at how blogs have changed the sourcing practices of journalists – in particular the rise of crowdsourcing – and provided opportunities for increased engagement. I would welcome any corrections, extra information or comments.

Sourcing material

While the opportunity that blogs provide for anyone to publish has undoubtedly led to a proliferation of new sources and leads – particularly “Insider” blogs produced by experts and gossips working within particular industries (Henry, 2007) and even ‘YouTube whistleblowers’ (Witte, 2006) – it is the very conversational, interactive and networked nature of blogs which has led journalists to explore completely new ways of newsgathering. Continue reading

Citizen journalism: some conclusions from the European Bloggers Unconference

Consider this my first attempt at a photoblog entry. For those who prefer video or text you can see both at http://www.ejc.net/seminars/picnic_2007_3

What is citizen journalism

Continue reading

A model for the 21st century newsroom pt2: Distributed Journalism

In the first part of my model for the 21st century newsroom I looked at how a story might move through a number of stages from initial alert through to customisation. In part two I want to look at sourcing stories, and the role of journalism in a new media world.

The last century has seen three important changes for the news industry. It has moved… Continue reading

Wiki journalism: are wikis the new blogs?

On Thursday I’ll be presenting my paper on wiki journalism at the Future of Newspapers conference in Cardiff. As previously reported, the full paper is available as a wiki online for anyone to add to or edit. You can also download a PDF of the ‘official’ version.

Based on a review of a number of case studies, and some literature on wikis, the paper proposes a taxonomy of wiki journalism, and outlines the opportunities and weaknesses of the form. The following is the edited highlights: Continue reading

2006’s best examples of newsroom integration – Editors Weblog

Editors Weblog reports on Telegraph editor Will Lewis’ strategy for ‘integrating’ the newspaper:

“Perhaps the hardest thing to do in the run up to the Daily Telegraph’s radical integration was to convince the paper’s staff. Lewis explained how in meetings his suggestions would constantly be voiced but most would be politely blown off. So he put all of his efforts into convincing his colleagues. He embarked on a worldwide tour, visiting the United States, Latin America, Japan, and Europe to learn about the best practices and initiatives in each place. He returned to London with some fantastic ideas.”Then he set out to convince the staff. He found the newsroom’s “angriest” employees, people that had realized the need for change in the past or had had other complaints ignored. When he got these people on his side, the rest of the staff paid closer attention and management eventually decided to heed Lewis’ advice.”

And in the same article Gannett’s Michael Maness talks about the processes of “media shifting” and “size shifting” “that are scaring traditional publishers.”:

“Media shifting is key with lean forward [engaged consumers] types; it means that they’re using various technologies to consume media the way they want, when they want. He used the example of Tivo, a digital video recorder which can be easily programmed to record any number of television shows that can then be watched at the convenience of the viewer. The major problem with Tivo is that it allows viewers to skip through the show’s advertisements.

““Size shifting” means that people are actually changing media to fit a smaller time frame. For instance, people will record a television program, take out the parts that most interest them, edit them together and then post them on YouTube. An hour long program can thus be summed up in 10 minutes if need be.”