Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pavlik says a repackaging of news for the digital medium will transform journalism

John V. Pavlik, a pioneering scholar of content migration online, rues that "journalism has adapted very little in terms of its fundamental form, practices and assumptions" in one-and-a-half centuries.

Professor Pavlik advises nothing less than "a complete metamorphosis" for journalism. From the latest New Jersey weekly Courier:
Through the interconnections of facts and sources, reporters, writers and editors assemble the facts into packages called the story. The story is the first level of packaging of the news. Groups of stories are assembled into a second tier known as the section, such as politics, metro, or sports. The third tier is the newspaper. There are comparable groupings in radio and television as well as online.

The time has come to explode this traditional approach to news packaging. Digital technologies make it possible to individually tag each fact, its sources and other attributes and make these facts and attributes directly available to the public. Using the extensible mark-up language, or XML, each fact can be assigned meta-tags that have been commonly used for pages on the World Wide Web, but can now be assigned to individual pieces of information. Some tags can be assigned automatically, such as the time, date, location and reporter identification stamp on a photo, video or audio. Other tags can be embedded in a semi-automatic format, by utilizing real-time speech to text translation software or text analysis software to tag key words extracted from a reporter’s notes, if captured digitally. The remaining tags need to be assigned manually, by a reporter, editor or other staffer. These tags can provide not only context but can enable readers to access the facts and interpret the facts and sources in ways reporters and editors may not have previously identified.
Find the whole deal here.

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