A Golden Age for journalism and news consumers; Media Innovation Day

“We think of people as buckets that need to be filled with content, but if we focus on them as humans desiring connection, we can engage in powerful experiences.”

by WAN-IFRA Staff | October 7, 2015

“This is a golden age for journalism and for news consumers,” said Jeremy Caplan of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, at the Media Innovation Day. “We are moving beyond just two business models – advertising and paying for content – and into a world of fifty or more potential revenue streams.”

Invited to talk about the impact of technology on journalism, Caplan immediately expanded those terms to point out that it is the diversity of available toos, not any one technology, that is making the difference.

Jeremy CaplanJeremy Caplan“Is journalist technology a wi-fi pen? Yes, but journalist technology is chalk on a board, it’s a single tweet, and it is sound sent by air because old-fashioned technology like radio is still journalistic technology. But it is also ways that help us monetise, like Blendle, that may not be purely journalistic but which enable us to sustain ourselves. In the end, journalism technology is whatever works.”

There have never been so many tools with such a direct path to publication, but of course there is a potential downside to that.

“Journalism is instant, but the flip side is journalistic candy – snackable journalism focussing on the most superficial and insignificant features. So we need to think about training journalists not just in basics of reporting and editing but in engaging.”

Caplan concluded with the five areas to focus on moving forward:

  1. Design – we need cleaner, deeper storytelling and it is interface design that helps users choose the most engaging
  2. Experimentation, and more experimentation – that’s crucial; we need new forms, new partnerships, new ideas.
  3. Exploring new revenue streams
  4. Curation and aggregation because we can’t tell all the stories.
  5. Sharpening our journalistic skills.
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