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Journalism In The Digital Age


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A lecture given at City University London in November 2009. An introduction to journalism in the digital age.

Journalism In The Digital Age

  1. 1. Journalism in the Digital Age<br />Peter Moore<br /><br /><br />@petermoore (T)<br />
  2. 2. Newspapers -&gt; Magazines -&gt; Blogs -&gt; Websites<br />
  3. 3. “Journalism is the discipline of gathering, writing and reporting news.”<br />
  4. 4. Journalism: the good<br />
  5. 5. Charlie Beckett, POLIS Director<br />Journalism has never been more plentiful and of such high quality. There is more good quality information, analysis and debate than ever before.  <br />It’s never been easier or cheaper to make good journalism - sales of quality publications like the Economist and Wall Street Journal are up - the BBC now has global reach for its public service international journalism online. <br />Even the liberal niche British broadsheet The Guardian has found 10 million online readers outside the UK. Across the world there are booming sales of newspapers and TV channels are being launched daily.<br />New technologies are delivering opportunities for journalism. There is more processing and broadcasting power in my iPhone than I had in a whole newsroom 10 years ago. And the public want to help make news media even more plentiful and productive - and they will do it for free.<br />
  6. 6. And the elephant in the room?<br />
  7. 7. The Internet<br />
  8. 8. The business model<br />
  9. 9. Clay Shirky: Professor of New Media at New York University:<br />“When a 14 year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you got a problem.”<br /> <br />The unthinkable scenario unfolded something like this: <br />The ability to share content wouldn’t shrink, it would grow. Walled gardens would prove unpopular. Digital advertising would reduce inefficiencies, and therefore profits. Dislike of micropayments would prevent widespread use. People would resist being educated to act against their own desires. Old habits of advertisers and readers would not transfer online. Even ferocious litigation would be inadequate to constrain massive, sustained law-breaking.<br />
  10. 10. The curious thing about the various plans hatched in the ’90s is that they were, at base, all the same plan: <br />Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know “If the old model is broken, what will work in its place?” To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke. <br />- Clay Shirky, (Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable)<br />
  11. 11. Newspapers<br />
  12. 12. The end of newspapers?<br />“It’s a broken model. The Victorian chain of distribution that requires printing plants, lorries, wholesalers, newsagents, getting ten year-old boys out of bed to deliver the papers... <br />That whole chain is so expensive with so many people taking their chunks out of it. The advertising doesn’t seem to be there and the audience rate is declining. <br />You can cling onto that model but in the end I think you’ll just fall off the edge of a cliff.”<br /> Alan Rusbridger – Editor of the Guardian<br />
  13. 13. Books?<br />
  14. 14. The cost of print<br />20 years before the Gutenberg Press was invented Cambridge University had just 122 volumes in its library.<br />Before the press was invented the price of a book was equivalent to the price of a vineyard.<br />For the 500 years afterwards the price of a book was equivalent to the price of a bottle of wine.<br />The price of a book is now equivalent to a glass of wine.<br /> - Dr. Francis Pinter, Academic Publisher<br />
  15. 15. A shift of emphasis?<br />Old Journalism<br />Reflection<br />Lengthy editorial processes<br />Impartiality<br />Traditional ‘sources’<br />Little competition<br />Accuracy<br />Expertise<br />Publications<br />New Journalism<br />Speed<br />Less editorial input (if any)<br />Comment<br />Open source<br />Massive competition<br />Continual re-writes<br />‘Accidental’ journalists<br />People<br />
  16. 16. The New Media<br />
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Where do I start?<br />
  19. 19. Always start with a blog<br />
  20. 20. Blogging Software<br /><br /><br />Posterous<br />Tumblr<br />Typepad<br />Moveable Type<br />
  21. 21. What makes a good blog?<br />A niche topic – the tighter the better<br />Frequent updates<br />Communicative author(s)<br />An understanding of online writing techniques<br />A mixture of written, audio and visual content<br />Narrative blogging (when narrative blogging is done well it can be effective, but when done badly it is terrible)<br />
  22. 22. The print article<br />
  23. 23. The blog post<br />
  24. 24. The link economy<br />Blog posts don’t just have length, they have depth.<br />Back links – meritocratic (usually) and fundamental to the function of the Internet and search algorithms.<br />The Creative Commons (6 licenses)<br />“Do what you do best and link to the rest” (Jeff Jarvis, an American journalist, blogger and editor)<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26. How do I build up my blog?<br />Start slowly – it takes time<br />Think of your goals – have a clear objective and be consistent<br />Read other blogs/sites with a similar editorial agendas. Study carefully what are they doing well – learn from them.<br />Join in with the conversation. Start thinking about your online community and set your own limits. Join Twitter, comment on other blogs - interact!<br />Try to understand ‘how’ the Internet works – What are SEO, SMM and PPC? What do you need to know? Ask for advice. Most people will be happy to help.<br />
  27. 27. Things to think about<br />
  28. 28. Google, keyword journalism and page rank<br />
  29. 29. Taking control of your digital footprint<br />
  30. 30. Joining in with the conversation<br />
  31. 31. Learning how to use the available tools<br />
  32. 32. Building your own online newswire<br />
  33. 33. #trafigura and new media: an evolving story<br />
  34. 34. What do the journalists say?<br />I know someone has to worry about how this industry is going to make money, but the way I see it, that’s up to the publishers. Let them stagger about, blinking at the internet like blind moles looking for a business model. If the businesses were half as adaptable and open to change as most of the journalists who write for them, we’d probably stop yammering about which direction we’re going in, and just do it.<br />My job is to adapt, without knee-jerk reactions, and that’s what I’ll aim to do. I’m certainly not going to breathlessly attempt to tick off all the different things we’re supposed to be doing, just for the sake of it. Stop telling me what it is I’ll be doing in ten years, what the new buzzword is – you don’t know. Nobody knows. Just let reporters and journalists get on with their jobs, with the tools that are available and suitable to them, and you’ll find we do ok.<br /> Rebecca Thomson, The Future of Journalism: Just Get On With It (Bitchbuzz)<br />
  35. 35. Sources Used:<br />Images<br />Page 1: Entering Hyperspace by Eole on Flickr<br />Page 2: MacBook Pro keyboard by Sonic Julez on Flickr<br />Page 3: And What shall I Write by tomswift46 on Flickr<br />Page 4: iPhone by Christopher Chan on Flickr<br />Page 6: Addo Elephant Park, South Africa by exfordy on Flickr<br />Page 7: Addiction 2, Computer by aftab on Flickr<br />Page 8: Broken Glass 2 by Nesster on Flickr<br />Page 11: Newspaper by jamesjyu on Flickr<br />Page 13: Vineyards and road by Tambako the Jaguar on Flickr<br />Page 16: The New Media Studio by Richard Cawood on Flickr<br />Page 18: Puzzled by MykiRoventine on Flickr<br />Page 19: Wheel of Fortune? By Rickydavid on Flickr<br />Page 20: Vancouver Sun Article on Blogging by Dbarefoot on Flickr<br />Page 22: Post in a puddle by Squonk on Flickr<br />Page 23: Swimming Pool, La PerlaVillas by pretty.face on Flickr<br />Page 27: To Do List by Great Beyond on Flickr<br />Page 30: Web 2.0 Parodies of Corporate Logos by FaceySpacey on Flickr<br />Page 31: Online Newswire by Noodlepie on Flickr<br />Videos:<br />Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ingUs by mwesch<br />#Trafigura (1/2) by twitscoop<br />