What needs to continue … by former Journal Register Company reporter

If you haven’t read the blog post by former Kingston Daily Freeman reporter Steve Earley  on the Ben Franklin Project it’s surely worth a read. Steve highlights some of the stories sites tackled but, more importantly, offers insight into what must happen for the change to continue.

His comments about Twitter should be noted not just by JRC sites but by all media outlets who continue to use Twitter as a mirror of the one-way delivery method.

Here’s the highlights. (Read the full post here)

  • It will require a firm technical and strategic grasp of the tools used to produce today’s editions. Employees, who had just over a month to learn many of the free tools they used, are by their own admission still getting the hang of pagination program Scribus. Microblogging service Twitter, meanwhile, is of greatest value to news organizations when they use it to converse with audience members and sources (two-way/pull/new-media thinking), yet many JRC papers use their Twitter feeds only to push out links to their stories (one-way/push/old-media thinking).
  • More than anything, it will require a bottom-up embrace of the digital-first, innovation culture Paton is evangelizing. No print-versus-Web, us-versus-them, that’s-not-part-of-my job whining.
  • It will require abandoning these tools at the drop of a hat and learning new ones as better alternatives come along.
  • It will require engaging audience members — meeting them on the platforms they’re already using or educating them about the platforms they should be using — to the point they don’t have to be persuaded to participate.
  • It will require not letting the new way of doing things disrupt what was right about the old way. As empowering as they are, interactive tools are a complement to thorough, old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporting, not a replacement for it.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “What needs to continue … by former Journal Register Company reporter

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What need to continue … by former Journal Register Company reporter « The Ben Franklin Project -- Topsy.com

  2. I think everything you guys do is worth while, whether you end up using it or discarding it. To me its not the technology that is critical its people: the people who publish and edit and the public who needs to be convinced that they can have tremendous power to do not only do good but to help themselves and their communities. Its a new way of looking at journalism – instead of the elitism practiced by many journalists – and the rightful skeptical view that many- its working together (when it makes sense) to improve our communities. It will be tricky because for everyone who wins something, it will be at the cost of someone else. So you will need very sophisticated people at the top to guide the project.
    However, your motives are good and you have my full support.
    George Gombossy

  3. Darren

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

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