Reimagining Journalism in the Age of Social Media


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A presentation about how journalism might be reimagined in an age when more people are embracing the precepts of social media.

Given by JD Lasica on Aug. 25, 2011, at El Mercurio in Santiago, Chile, during a 2-day symposium attended by news executives and managers from major publications in South America.

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Reimagining Journalism in the Age of Social Media

  1. Reimagining journalismin the age of Social MediaUn presentation especial at El MercurioSantiago, Chile, Aug. 25, 2011 JD Lasica Founder
  2. What we’ll cover today1. Changes in mediasphere2. Questioning 9 assumptions3. Imagining new skill sets4. Trailblazing publications
  3. Hashtag Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Prakhar Tweet this talk! Hashtag: #gda_caf
  4. Socialbrite Sharing Center
  5. Start with a blue sky Flickr photo by jonrawlinson Be open to new approaches Launch pilot projects Silicon Valley mantra: Fail often, fail fast Rules of social media are still evolving
  6. News is undergoing biggest,messiest change — everEverything about news is changing:The way it’s producedThe way it’s distributedThe way we consume itWho’s a trusted news providerConventions of journalism (NPR asadvocate for Haiti relief efforts)What “news” means
  7. Social journalismElements of social media applied to journalism:Blogging ... Twitter ... Facebook ... Comments ...Widgets ... RSS ... Video sharing ... Photo sharing ... User-created content ... Ratings ... User reviews ... Tagging ...Social bookmarks ... Live streaming & chat ... Presentationsharing ... Geolocation services ... Forums ... Communitymembership ... Social news sharing sites ...Wikis ... Texting ... Meetups ...Shared calendars
  8. But trustworthy news still vital “Information is as vital to the healthy functioning of communities as clean air, safe streets, good schools and public health.” Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy
  9. Old media values Social media valuesNews as finished product News as a processLecture, authoritative Conversation, participationPassive consumers Empowered usersTrust in experts Trust in peersCorporate Democratic, collaborative, messyClosed TransparentExclusive SharedCentralized DistributedElite professionals Grassroots, peer-focusedInstitutional voice Personal voiceHeavily filtered Unfiltered/lightly filteredPlatform dependent Cross-platform
  10. Will this be the new news?
  11. Question assumptions!
  12. ASSUMPTION 1Objectivity is our sacred goal
  13. ¡PERO!Transparency is new objectivity Invite public into story meetings. Live-stream them.
  14. ASSUMPTION 2Content is all that matters
  15. ¡PERO!Conversation & curation Conversation follows content
  16. ASSUMPTION 3Mobile has limited appeal
  17. ¡PERO!Geotag everything!
  18. ASSUMPTION 4Journalists must wear blinders Creative Commons photo on Flickr by stars alive
  19. ¡PERO!Why not allow citizensto take action? A role restored Point users to events or community and advocacy groups relevant to an issue. Also enable them to make a difference by signing petitions, which offer an outlet for community engagement.
  20. ASSUMPTION 5Journalists don’t promote
  21. ¡PERO!Promotion is part ofthe Social Web’s essenceThink of a story, blog post, eventor idea as a ‘sharable object.’ Insome cases, decouple media.The most effective sharableobjects are portable, evokeemotion and can be easily copiedand reproduced in many channelsand formats.Use genuine conversation, not amarketing sell, to share.
  22. ASSUMPTION 6It’s OK to ignore the numbers Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Woodlouse
  23. ¡PERO!‘Data is better than gut’ Gather, analyze, act Photos on Flickr by Emran Kassim, left, and Vee Dub (CC-BY)
  24. ASSUMPTION 7Citizen journalists = competitors
  25. ¡PERO!The crowd can be collaborators Talking Points Memo won a George Polk Award using distributed network of volunteer reporters who delved through thousands of emails and documents released by the U.S. Department of Justice, leading to the resignation of the Attorney General.
  26. ASSUMPTION 8We must find new audiences
  27. ¡PERO!We must build communityhere’s an amazing difference between building an audience and building acommunity. An audience willwatch you fall on a sword. A community will fall on a sword for you. — Chris Brogan Author,“Trust Agents”
  28. ASSUMPTION 9We must do all the heavy lifting Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Jason Means
  29. ¡PERO!Your community can help Find the big kahunas in your sector/beat. Use listening tools. Then, influence the influencers. Connect with other social media influencers through their blogs, Twitter, Facebook. Use to find 55 million + photos for commercial use. And give back. Use ‘social love handles’: Facebook social plug-ins, Share This, Tweet this buttons.
  30. The tools aren’t important.The storytelling is.
  31. Let’s imagine these new skills Storyteller & reporter, yes, but also: Conversation facilitator Multimedia guru Evangelist, promoter Community builder Curator Metrics nerd Geek! Innovator/strategist Photograph by Tristram Kenton © The Really Useful Group Ltd.
  32. Study the trailblazers Washington DC hyperlocal site ProPublica, nonprofit investigative journalism, winner of 2010 Pulitzer Prize for political news for tech news Huffington Post creating a nonprofit investigative journalism arm., nonprofit news site, nonprofit news site, crowd-funded journalism
  33. Create your own path uses social networks to create authentic, cooperative & socially useful journalism.
  34. Embrace those blue skies! News has become a social act & shared experience Build things that are useful & have value Study the marketplace, define goals, write business plan Embrace risk, launch pilot projects Measure results Make tough choices, listen to your market Iterate! Iterate! Iterate! Make mistakes, forgive yourself, move on
  35. To innovate is to iterate Facebook in 2005 “The idea is launch early and iterate. Early on, I didn’t just start Facebook as a company. It was a project that I wanted to exist. It’s amazing how much stuff we messed up.” – Mark Zuckerberg, 10/09
  36. Closing thoughtIf you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. — Lao Tse
  37. ¡Muchas gracias! ¡Let’s talk! JD Lasica, founder Social tools for social change email: Twitter: @jdlasica Thank you for all your valuable work during this time of disruption!