21st century media. Part 1. Diamond news

Original author: Paul Bradshaw
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A month ago, in the Online Journalism Facebook Group, I asked readers what side of the bottom-up editing experiment they would like to learn more about. Megan T called "Revision of the Newspaper Creation Process."
After a lot of searches, formulations and drafts, I got several models related to the production of news, their collection, interactivity and news as a business. Below I give the first of them. This is a mixed model, it can be used for the press and broadcast media, in addition, it includes an online component.

The dashed lines in the diagram indicate the stages at which the participation of readers is required.

Cornerstones Media

Online media operates in its work with two complementary and mutually contradictory factors: speed and quality . (This refers to the eternal dilemma of the news media: to publish a news faster, without wasting time checking the facts, or to publish it verified, with many details, but with a delay. - Translator comment. )
New technologies make it possible to distribute news faster than previous means of communication - radio and television. Recall mobile communications and email. Think of blogs updated from mobile phones, remember about Twitter.
At the same time, the unlimited space and time of the World Wide Web, the nature of hypertext, the ability to link everything together increase their potential for a better, wider and deeper description of reality than did the former kings of context and analysis - newspapers and magazines. Recall how Wikipedia was used during Hurricane Katrina . Recall local (hyperlocal) sites (see, for example, Chicagocrime.org ).

The production chain below describes how big news can be edited by a mixed model, taking advantage of both speed and quality.

  1. Lightning. As soon as a journalist or editor finds out about an event, the editorial office issues a short lightning message. For example, from a mobile phone, Blackberry or via a laptop with wireless Internet access. Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by e-mail or SMS , following your status on Twitter and Facebook, will know the news instantly. You have not yet published full-fledged news, but you have already shown that you are in the know! This practice will show readers that you were the first, that this is your news, it will help improve your professional reputation. Well, if this is not a sensation, lightnings about small events will add a bit of lively charm to your media (like the status on Twitter). Readers like this.
  2. A sketch. This format is not yet suitable for printing or broadcasting, but it is great for a blog . In support of the just released lightning, indicate in the outline the first names, places, details, and sources that have been identified. Update the sketch as new parts become available. The task of the sketch is to keep on the site those who pecked at lightning. But in addition, it helps spread the word about the blogosphere, attracting the attention of new readers and helping you get into the tops of search engines. Ideally, the draft will also attract commentators and witnesses who will begin to add their details, point out errors, or even offer their own headlines. Frequent updating of the draft will help you to stay in the top of Google News, which ranks the materials in the plot by the time of update, and not by the time of publication.
  3. Article / Issue. Unlike online media, maneuvering between speed and quality, traditional print and broadcast media have an advantage in their static and physical limitations of the channel itself. For what people love them, it is because in an article of 300 words or a three-minute report they give out a complete cast of the event. Compared to the unlimited resources of the Internet, an editor plays a very important role in determining what to broadcast or put on the page. At this stage, the sketch turns into a full-fledged material , which can be published on the website , printed , broadcast, or all of this taken together. Schedule for publication or broadcast is determined according to the practice of a particular media.
  4. Context / Selection. We return online, here we are not limited by the size of a sheet of paper and the airtime. So quickly give out maximum information on the topic. Now we need to answer the questions, how many times has this happened before? Where to see previous articles on this topic? Where can I find more information about this person or organization? where to go for help? The most important role here belongs to hyperlinks . Put links to everything that helps readers - to the archive of your own publications and to other people's sites. In the print and broadcast versions, you also give context, but you must definitely indicate that your site has even more materials on this topic.
  5. Analysis / Evaluation. After the report comes analysis time. An online publication may begin collecting the very first comments from the blogosphere, including comments left on its own forum. But it is especially necessary to pay attention to the reaction of the participants in the events and those whom it has touched . Many will leave a record of their impressions on their personal blog, but for organizing a discussion it is better to use a podcast. While this raw material is being collected and evaluated, print and broadcast media can use it to update their releases.
  6. Interactivity Interactivity requires training and costs, but at the same time allows you to engage and inform the user in a way that no one else can. In addition, it helps to create low-demand resources according to the theory of the long tail , which provide repeated visits to the site in the long term. Preparation of interactive flash-applications will take several days, but will allow you to combine hypertext, video, audio, animation and databases. On the forum you can organize a platform for the exchange of experience or advice of people who have survived some event. Wikis can do the same, but more efficiently. Chats in real time, they will help readers directly contact journalists, newsmakers, witnesses, experts.
  7. Convenience. The last step should be automatic. The user should be able to customize the information for themselves. In the simplest case, you need to give him the opportunity to subscribe by e-mail, RSS, SMS to receive notifications about the update of this topic, new comments, etc. More advanced services may offer recommendations from other users (such as “Those who have read this article also read: ...") or database-based products (for example, sampling information on various grounds and their combinations). This completes the production process, which at this stage combines user labels, allows you to download data for use outside the site, etc.

A practical example of the application of this model

Consider a typical case of creating news: a public person makes a contradictory statement. How will it look in practice?
  1. Lightning. Publish: "Deputy Sidorov: Enough Fucking Scientists." Link to the sketch.
  2. A sketch. Give a first description of the situation, some details, let readers discuss and reprint on blogs, making links. Following them, we find out that Sidorov graduated from the Faculty of Philology. Journalists immediately rush to seek official confirmation, then to write an article on its basis.
  3. Article / Issue. We take a couple of comments from the blog, add them to our vision of what happened and print this article in the newspaper.
  4. Context / Selection. We collect the best links from the comments, give a full transcript of the deputy’s speech, collect audio recordings, video from the phone. We make the label "Sidorov and the fucking scientists" and mark with it all these materials, clicking on this label leads the reader to the page where all the materials on this topic are collected.
  5. Analysis / Evaluation. We offer one especially distinguished blogger to write an article for publication in a newspaper. We invite a scientist-philologist and deputy Sidorov to a conversation, they discuss the legitimacy of the use of the term "fucking", the essence of the deputy’s claims to such scientists, the reasons that prompted him to speak, etc. The conversation recording is a podcast.
  6. Interactivity Visitors to our website are invited to write their own vision of the situation, especially those who, according to Sidorov, fall under the definition of a fucking scientist. Thus, we get an objective first-hand view of the situation.
  7. Convenience. We create a special RSS feed or mailing list on the site that notifies you of updates to the materials marked “Sidorov and Fucking Scientists.”

Diamond news

This model can be schematically presented as an alternative to the well - known “inverted pyramid” model .

Just as the once inverted pyramid was partially due to the use of telegraph in the news industry and the dominance of the ideas of science and empirio-criticism, the diamond of news is trying to reflect the transition from 19th century journalism (finished product journalism, article journalism) to 20th century journalism - process journalism, in which the product is constantly updated and supplemented, always remaining unfinished. Moreover, a diamond should clearly demonstrate the shortcomings and obsolescence of the pyramid. Well, since he himself represents an unfinished process, his model cannot be considered final either.
(Image stages in the diagram does not reflect their importance in the model, they are arranged in such a way only for ease of reading.)

Paul Bradshaw ( Paul Bradshaw )
September 17, 2007.

From a translator: The
article was translated with the personal permission of the author. At his request, I indicate the address of the article directly in the text: http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2007/09/17/a-model-for-the-21st-century-newsroom-pt1-the-news-diamond/
I hope the administration of Habr will take into account the request of the author and forgive me for compelled violation of the format.

Other parts of this article:
Part 2. Distributed journalism.
Part 3. Six questions after.
Part 4. Distribution of content in the new media environment.
Part 5. How to make money on journalism? Business models for new media.
Part 6. New journalists for new information flows.

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