Friday, October 24

Spotting Convergence: Wall Street Journal

With the Newspaper Association of America (NNA) expecting newspaper advertising to drop another 11 percent this year, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post are already looking to evolve. Both publications are training journalists to shoot video while reporting.

"We've put dozens of cameras out in the hands of reporters," Alan Murray, deputy managing editor of the The Wall Street Journal, said in a brief online interview with "By putting video cameras in their hands, it gives them another way to tell their stories."

Both publications began recruiting and training reporters since June, which was part of their restructuring in July. They are also actively recruiting talented video journalists worldwide to shoot and edit video on a freelance basis through recruiters. Meanwhile, the Washington Post has trained more than 185 reporters.

To illustrate how rapidly convergence is taking place, consider this post from August 2006 or this post from March 2007. Both were written at a time when new media still seemed far far away. But nowadays, it's old media that seems a distant memory.

As predicted, old media is dead. There is only media, aging new and adapting old, sharing the same space online. In other words, it no longer pays to ride a horse in a world of automobiles.



Anonymous said...

Given that a horse can also provide fertilizer for a garden and warm nuzzles, I sure like this "green" transportation option - tho if everyone rode horses, we'd have a lot more manure spread around than a full stable of campaigning politicians! :)

But back to your original topic - with the proliferation of citizen journalists posting material online, traditional media has much more competition.

The question will be what outlets will be the most trustworthy and accurate? Which ones will prove profitable and grow, yet still remain flexible?

All I know is that it's very, very noisy out there in cyberspace.

Rich on 10/26/08, 6:35 AM said...


Good question. It's one I struggle with at times.

Eventually, I hope credibility will be assigned to individuals or the organizations they work for rather than perceived classifications such as "traditional journalists," "citizen journalists," and "bloggers."

Each of these classifications have an equal opportunity to bias stories, assuming they are even striving to be objective (some do not strive to be). I don't mind overtly biased material as much as the kind that pretends objectivity.

So which has a greater opportunity to be successful in terms of revenue growth? Time will tell. Probably some of both.

However, I do wonder if the public really wants objective and trustworthy reporting anymore. It seems to me were growing an appetite for news that reinforces our own beliefs, even when those beliefs are wrong. And as hunger to be proven right continues, I can only imagine that those lines we used to know — traditional media as trustworthy — will continue to erode, especially under the pressure to remain profitable.


P.S. Cyberspace is less noisy when you filter content. ;)


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