Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The (uncertain) shape of things to come

I spent the day in Bournemouth and Poole, talking to two centres about trialling the new Online Journalism qualification that we are building in as a part of the Preliminary Certificates for the NCTJ.

Tom Hill at uptospeedjournalism in Poole is reassuringly onboard. He has a cohort of mainly career-changers – the first of three intakes this academic year - who looked to me as if they will make great journalists.

At Bournemouth University’s Media school I met up again with Liisa Rohumaa who has a background in Fleet Street websites, like me. We reminisced about the struggles of grafting an online identify onto (in her case) the Financial Times and (in mine) The Times.

There have been some key staff changes at Bournemouth but I’m hoping they will join the eight centres already committed to Trailblazing the Online Journalism syllabus this academic year, prior to its integration as a compulsory element in the Preliminary Certificates in 2008-9.

I had fascinating conversations with both Tom and Liisa about the shape of things to come. Let’s face it; none of us know for sure what multi-media journalism is going to look like in a year or two. Regional and national newspapers, consumer and B2B magazines are all feeling their way and seeing what works for them in the multi-media world.

One thing I do feel is going to come to the forefront, eclipsing video, which is the current focus of many people’s attention, is community.

I sense that creating and owning appropriate communities will prove to be the real key to success online, for all media outlets – whatever pocket of trad media they come from.

1 comment:

Andy Dickinson said...

I agree that community is where we need to be. Forget about digital strategies. Let's have community strategies that embrace all aspects of modern journalism including digital.

But let's get rid of one old school journalism view. 'creating and owning appropriate communities'

We can help create them but we can't own communities. If we want to get out of the old media lecture and in to the new media conversation we need to understand that a community is something we are part of, not in charge of.