Citizen Media Watch

oktober 20th, 2009

Stowe Boyd, really realtime disruptive media, and challenges for future journalists

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Stowe Boyd at the Really Realtime Disruptive Media conference

I am at the Really Realtime Disruptive Media conference, which is also streamed live at http://livestream.com/disruptivemedia. I’ve just listened to Stowe Boyd and would like to share some of it, though liveblogging is becoming more and more tricky when everyone’s got access to the event in real time. I think this development is good, since you have to contribute your own thoughts and ideas and not just echo back what is being said.

Anyway, Stowe did a good job summing up the shift from the web of pages to the web of flow. I’d like to focus on the journalistic aspects of what he said.
The basis is that we rely more on our network of peers than on traditional media, traditional search, traditional anything.
– It’s the hollowing out of established mass media as people move away from mass belonging, says Stowe Boyd. They start to reject the editorial voice of newspapers.
He brought up the live twittering of the plane crash in the Hudson river and the tweets from the Iranian demonstrations while CNN was broadcasting re-runs as two examples.

So how can media companies matter in this time/space? They need to take the step out there, to be where their (former) readers are. Stowe Boyd talks about web pages and even blogs as the ”dusty library shelves” of today. You go there but it’s not where you have your conversations. So journalists need to go to the streams where their writing is in fact discussed, they need to participate, to analyze what’s being said, and do what they’re good at – summarize, bring up the interesting stuff, and make it easier for people to find it themselves by linking to relevant hash tags etc.

By building credibility and making connections on Twitter and the better tools that will replace it you have direct access to people who can make your reporting better. The main thing is as always to listen.



oktober 12th, 2009

The Guardian to contract bloggers for local news

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

While Swedish national papers have moved away from local news initiatives, as local advertising markets are not ready to support costly coverage, there are examples in other countries of how to build coverage by collaborating with local bloggers. The most recent comes from the Guardian, who are looking to contract bloggers in Leeds, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Media and technology reporter Mercedes Bunz reports:

”Guardian Local is a small-scale experimental approach to local newsgathering. We are focusing on three politically engaged cities and we expect to launch in early 2010,” said Emily Bell, the director of digital development at Guardian News & Media. Sarah Hartley, the Guardian local launch editor said: ”While researching developments at the grassroots of community journalism, I’ve been impressed by the range and depth of coverage from local websites and blogs. This experimental project reflects both the shifting nature of journalism and the reality on the ground.”

The focus is on local political decision making, and Bunz draws a parallell to the public subsidy NPR has received in the States, pondering if this might be a model for the UK too. Another option is funding from organizations like the Knight Foundation.

In Sweden we’ve seen several local newspapers/sites collaborating with bloggers for local and hyperlocal news (one recent example is Smålandsposten’s Mitt Lammhult), but the national papers seem less prone to. The largest daily Aftonbladet still has its locally contracted bloggers on the larger cities’ pages on Bloggportalen – for instance Norrköpingsbloggen on the Norrköping page – but with the loss of the local sections on Aftonbladet.se I doubt they get much public or journalistic attention. A lot of them are no longer active.
At the same time there are cities and even whole regions who lack journalists covering them, reports Swedish journalists’ union’s paper Journalisten (unfortunately I can’t find the article available online).
It’s not a problem in itself if national media skip local coverage as long as there are local initiatives – by journalistic sites of bloggers with an interest in these issues. Where they’re lacking, though, there’s a danger that corruption spreads.

(via Jeff Jarvis)

Disclaimer: I am a former employee of Aftonbladet.se.


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