This weekend I spent a good chunk of time listening to the presentations of esteemed researchers on the impact of new technologies on journalism. The big take away; the traditional model of journalism is crumbing, but from the rubble a phoenix will rise; now what will that phoenix look like?
It seems the Web has given audiences new empowerment in shaping the motives and agendas of news editors, but how much power is too much? And what good is a crowd-pleasing story if it doesn’t turn into dollars?
For all the journalists out there showing enterprise and building your own news model in cyberspace, your challenge as summarized by the academics at the 10th International Online Journalism Symposium is as follows:
Find the balance between audience sensitivity and utter crowd pandering when implementing user-generated- content features.
Always be thinking of new ways to turn that increase in user participation into dollars. News production doesn’t grow on trees
Don’t let the extra time spent on consuming UGC take you out of the field. The reporting will suffer if you get too hung up on the online discussion .
Be excited, not frightened by change.
If you want to check out the research that led to all this fascinating dialogue, go the Symposium Web site or check out the tweet by tweet updates on the discourse under the hashtag #isoj on Twitter.