With the hope of catching a glimpse of what’s coming around the curve with new media and it’s affect on broadcast and online journalism, I attended the first Media Summit hosted by Mediabistro.com this past Tuesday. We heard from members of three panels, including Joe Scarborough, current host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, BBC’s Rome Hartman, Rachel Stern, CEO of the Ground Report, and Michael Meyers, co-founder of NowPublic.com.
Each brought an interesting perspective on how blogs, social networking sites, and the advent of instant, inexpensive distribution technology are turning passive consumers into active producers. This revolutionary period of news reporting is forcing old media to take a look at working with new technology without compromising their reputation and credibility. We’ve all heard how the very first pictures from breaking news stories, such as the plane landing in the Hudson River, were first obtained by Twitter. In my opinion, comparing someone who “tweets” to an accredited news journalist from a major source is like comparing a day trader to an investment banker at a major bank. There’s no denying we live in an age where instant gratification has permeated even the way we consume news. The question: will the consumer have to decide on the distinction between reporting and journalism, or will old and new media morph into the perfect blend of both?
Although opinions differed on how new technology should be used when reporting the news, one point of agreement was that people today are consuming news more than ever. And with the rise of “citizen journalism” and this “Pro-Am” partnership that is developing with media, the panel agreed that consumers will have a stronger need for trusted brands, filtering, and editing to help navigate the media. Michael Meyers from NowPublic, who pioneered the concept of “citizen journalism,” mentioned they’ve begun ranking their contributors with a point system to lend credibility to their “citizen reporting.”
What I learned on Tuesday is that it’s not a zero sum game between old and new media. Most of the panelists concurred that old media is not going away anytime soon. Most of the raw material used by bloggers is still coming from mainstream media. Both sides are sharing best practices with each other to adapt to an ever-changing media landscape. Hopefully in the end they will be able to combine the credible investigative reporting to which our older generation has become accustomed and the instant distribution the younger generation demands – continuing to feed a consumer base with a ferocious appetite for news.
The Online Journalism Blog has some interesting insights into the changing media landscape, as well. Care to share yours with me and the other folks at BurrellesLuce?