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Usher2011

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Usher2011

  1. 1. annenberg.usc.edu Between Creativity and Routine: Newsmaking in Online Journalism By Nikki Usher For International Symposium on Online Journalism
  2. 2. annenberg.usc.edu Are all news stories the same? IAEA worried about radiation in Japan village (AFP) – 3 hours ago VIENNA — Radiation levels recorded at a village outside the evacuation zone around the quake-striken Fukushima nuclear plant are above safe levels, the UN atomic watchdog said Wednesday.
  3. 3. annenberg.usc.edu UN: High radiation outside Japan's exclusion zone (AP) – 4 hours ago VIENNA (AP) — Recent radiation readings outside the exclusion zone around Japan's nuclear disaster show radiation substantially higher than levels at which the U.N. nuclear agency would recommend evacuations, agency officials said Wednesday.
  4. 4. annenberg.usc.edu There’s a great divide between journalists and academics: Creative process ---- or just following a routine?
  5. 5. annenberg.usc.edu Does it get even worse online • Starkman’s Hamster Wheel • The Whirr of Traffic • More, now, competition… • I say, NO
  6. 6. annenberg.usc.edu Let’s get rid of old ideas of creativity • So Coleridge says it best when we think about traditional ideas of creativity: “the creative force of eternal reason” It’s about imagination, right?
  7. 7. annenberg.usc.edu Not so, really Even Twyla Tharp thinks creativity is enabled by routines, but more specifically, let’s rethink creativity “Creativity can be found just about anywhere that people do, make or think things. Everyone is creative…” but, “only some function socially to create economic or cultural value” – John Hartley
  8. 8. annenberg.usc.edu What does this mean for online newsrooms • Certainly, there’s a scale for creativity, right? • Scoops seem ephemeral • The day’s stories that are “good” get cycled out off the Web in favor of breaking news – in some places this matches competitors • Is this even worse in a world of audience metrics
  9. 9. annenberg.usc.edu Where can we see evidence of creativity? • Well, all the time, but let’s talk about scale • Storytelling: as a narrative art (some better than others) – Storytelling as an agential process to make decisions about how to shape, direct and make choices about the news – Doesn’t mean journalists work without creative thought (Cottle, Fisher)
  10. 10. annenberg.usc.edu Gate-opening/Gatekeeping in Online Journliasm • The home page coordinator as the great gate- opener (deciding what goes out to the public from already chosen material) • Creative process, no routine for decisions, as I’ve witnessed • Too much speed for regulated decision- making, even in traffic-heavy newsrooms, spontaneous • Requires the flexibility of journalists
  11. 11. annenberg.usc.edu Content differentiation for survival • Creativity comes later in the news cycle • To survive, a news outlet has to do something different to retain its value • The “take” is what may do it – This may lead to alternative forms of journalism (non-objective journalism, Q-heads, etc.)
  12. 12. annenberg.usc.edu Storytelling Outside of Text • The Myriad world of Multimedia
  13. 13. annenberg.usc.edu Social Media as Creative Experience brianstelter Excellent Paul Farhi column in WaPost http://wapo.st/fcJ1QMnotes that NBC, partly owned by GE, ignored NYT's big story about GE's taxes @NYCcyn haha, I must admit, I was surprised by how much twitter love the "mad men" story received.

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