Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Transforming Journalism

Today I went to a conference organized by MIT/Stanford Venture Lab held in GSB. It is called News in the 21st centure: who will read print anymore? As a former news person, I definitely sense a lot of enthusiasm in the conference, and different touches on the future of the print industry. There's a guy named Rob Curley from Las Vegas Sun showing a bunch of projects they are doing on interactive media including a relationship of mafia and a map of history of different building in Vegas.

A few interesting topics include if Twitter is a type of journalism. Over half of the people in the room raised hands when asked if they use twitter. However, some people argue it is not journalism because no one is double checking sources.

Another thing is the comparation of usage of Kindle and iPhone. only three of four in the room have Kindle, compared with over half owning iPhone. This is interesting to see because Kindle is planning to change the whole newspaper industry(while only a few news person use it right now). If there's a book reading function on iPhone, I am sure it will be much popular than Kindle. another start-up idea?!!!

One thing I remember clearly is someone said: the question is not if newspaper will survive, but will journalism survive? Trained in journalism, I know how important the double-check sources and don't take annoymous quote are. However, do we still need those in an era with abudant information? I am seeking an answer.


Robin said...

Interesting topic, interesting sharing. The same question is always in my mind too - I was a journalism student.

Below are some of my thoughts.

I think traditional journalism has lost its monopoly over mass media channels. Once its competitive edge, the ability of spreading ideas and messages effectively, has now been shared by too many.

No matter how swift journalists are able to adopt the new technologies, it can never parallel the speed of the organic growth of new media. That's why I foresee development towards two very different ends:

First, more and more freelance journalism, to be flexible and to get rid of the fixed cost.

Second, traditional prints to leverage on their experience and expertise to produce high quality and accurate news/multimedia products for those who are willing to pay for them. (yes, sources checking and taking quotes prudently are important)

Ben said...

No doubt fresh winds are blowing in change. With Kindle steadily improving, the area is bound to see growth in the near future. Ultimately, this will change the way we read news in lets say, a decade from now. This is Benjamin from Israeli Uncensored News