Thursday, 8 January 2009

Journalism's digital future

That was the title of The Winter 2008 issue of Nieman Reports, house publication of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and the Nieman fellowships.

It's full of fascinating stuff, very effectively catalogued on Poynter by Maryn McKenna.

As she says in her post; if you read nothing else, look at this list of "10 ways to help newspapers transition to digital media" by Edward Roussel, digital editor of the Telegraph Media Group.

Here's Rousell's sell: "The probable elimination of a raft of second-tier newspapers during this economic downturn will provide a fertile environment for a new generation of digital media businesses to flourish. Here are 10 ways that will help newspapers make the transition to digital media companies."

Among that top 10 are:
  • invest more money in premium content—editorial that is unavailable elsewhere but that is highly valued by readers;
  • finance the additional spending on premium content by eliminating editorial costs in areas where [you] are unable to compete with the best on the web;
  • add value: look at a story from a number of angles, engage your audience, add multimedia;
  • create functionality that encourages readers to share eyewitness accounts of breaking news, rate services such as restaurants and hotels, and get into discussions and debates;
  • reporters on the ground are closest to your readers and best placed to conceive, create and nurture community web sites;
  • train editors to see video, photo galleries, graphics and maps as equal storytelling forms to text;
  • if the people who run your newsroom aren’t passionate about your digital future, it’s certain not to materialise; and
  • don’t be afraid of failure. Try new projects, see what works, and build on success.

No comments: