Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Journalists must include in their work opportunities for conversation"

Are you a journalist wondering how to adapt to a Web 2.0 world?

Nicole "Nikki" Usher, Harvard alumna and doctoral student at the University of Southern California, suggests that you combine "the best parts of the civic journalism and public journalism movements and sync these up with the possibilities of the Web."

Here is Ms. Usher's pitch for journalists and their employers to catch up with the times:
1. Journalists need to understand how the Web and multimedia goals will work within their own organizations. News organizations need to clearly communicate how these Web goals will influence the work production cycle.

2. Journalists at all levels of the news organization should believe that they can contribute to the multimedia vision of their organization. The future of the newsroom is also in your hands, and thinking like this forces journalists to think multi-dimensionally.

3. Journalists are not alone in the newsroom. Even if journalists themselves cannot think about how to make their work relevant to multiplatform content, someone else in the news organization can. Most of your organizations have people on staff that can help you brainstorm, even if you can't. Multimedia training is also about making new connections across your organization.

4. Silos, departmental rivalries, and departments that don't communicate with each other cannot exist if multimedia initiatives are to succeed.

5. Journalists no longer control the distribution of the content they produce. This is a very scary thought for many journalists, but the reality is that once something is published (usually on Web sites), it belongs to the audience of readers and becomes part of a conversation about the news.

6. Journalists need to rethink and reposition themselves the leader of this new conversation, which includes everyone from the traditional water cooler chat to bloggers.

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