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Shift toward online media requires "New Rules of Media"

Shift toward online media requires "New Rules of Media"

There is a major shift from traditional media toward online media, and journalists should consider the journalistic possibilities of social networks, YouTube, and other new technology instead of using them for fun and socializing.

Readers of online news is up to 71% in 2007 from 60% in 2000 and 37% said they went online for news "yesterday" compared to the 22% in 2000, according to Project for Excellence in Journalism.

MediaShift journalist Mark Glaser outlines "The New Rules of Media" with this shift:

1. "News is a conversation, not a lecture"
Traditionally, reporters had the answers and told the rest of us what was going on in the world. In reality, the audience and its "collective wisdom" knows more and can be experts on a subject. Thus, news is a conversation that may begin with a journalist but extends its form online where audience can help with ideas, comments, corrections, updates, etc.

2. People control their media experience
People are now listening and watching to what they want on the devices they want, whether it be podcasts, radio, TV, etc. This allows more control over media experience, and people are "no longer slaves to programmers," according to Glaser. But what people lose are shared experiences: watching shows or sport events together or at the same time. Now with TiVo-ing or taping shows for later, people no longer can immediately talk about these shows until everyone has finished watching them.

3. "Anyone Can Be a Media Creator or Remixer"
Anyone with a cell phone or video camera can capture and share experiences, and these devices and editing software are becoming increasingly affordable. Amateurs are noticed by the work they post online, which has the power to change the agenda in politics. However, anyone can create or remix their own media, but skills to use these tools are required to stand out from the millions of others who are doing the same thing.

4. "Traditional Media Must Evolve or Die"
Because of the speed of innovation and change in technology and its importance in news dissemination and analysis, the media business must live by this same rule, originally a Silicon Valley mantra.

In the mid-'90s, the New York Times launched online-only publication called CyberTimes which later had a pay wall around its archives in order to increase diminishing print subscriptions, rather than innovate online. Eventually the Times opened all online archives and began blogs (though opposed to them in the beginning) after learning that "traditional media must live in the digital world on its own terms."

Traditional media must evolve by changing their mindset first, before adding new features.

5. "Despite Censorship, The Story Will Get Out"
People have the knowledge to get a story out around repressive governments, for instance, when China blocked YouTube because of the videos of conflict in Tibet, people viewed the sites through Google cache. Also, people can get around new technology that cannot be suppressed, for example: the music business shut down Napster, but people are still sharing music online.

As Glaser puts it, "Once the technology genie is out of the bottle, there's no way to put it back in."

6. "Amateur and Professional Journalists Should Work Together"
With the distinction between the bloggers and journalists becoming blurrier, the animosity between the two should end, and theyshould learn from one another. Bloggers can learn about "being fair and having ethical standards" while journalists can "learn the 'incremental journalism' of bloggers, adding facts, analysis and aggregation over a period of time."

7. "Journalists Need to Be Multi-Platform"
Journalists need to learn the skills of broadcast, print, and photojournalism to reach different audiences. Becoming a community moderator, a freelancer (as journalism jobs are no longer stable), learning how to design or run a website are all essential skills to acquire.

Ultimately, journalists need to understand the basic journalism skills before knowing the new technology.

Glaser writes, "It's crucial that those skills, those ethics, that fairness, is not lost in the rush to new technology...This is the best time in history for new journalists to make their own way, start their own media outlet and get noticed."

Source: PBS through I Want Media

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Author

Carolyn Lo

Date

2008-04-02 10:42

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