Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Innovations vs. journalism
We're going to have a great roundtable, with several top journalists and media leaders already confirmed for the panel. All of them have different angles on innovations and media. The big question here is: innovations or journalism? I'm going to ask them if innovations aren't actually killing journalism by becoming journalism.
Think about social media innovations such as Facebook and Twitter. Think about blogging, think about the much touted iPhones and iPads, think about Google for the holy algorithm's sake. They are all consuming the same precious time that we know each of us only has 28 hours in a day. Ok, just checking you're awake. 24 hours. Future, inevitably, will be a huge battle for time.
Before our era of palm-fitting browsers and tech-savvy kids that grow up online, people used their spare time following journalism. That was the case until about a dozen years ago. They were offered a wide range of news and other stories to enjoy. Daily or weekly. Nowadays, everybody can be a presenter and everybody can be his/her own gatekeeper, editor, anchor, master and commander. Who needs responsible editors anymore? In other words, innovations are killing journalism?
Best journalism has always been in the forefront of progress, advocating for new ideas and empowering ordinary people. Why do we now feel the need to stick to the old ways of the past? Should we? If not, what do we do next? How do we keep journalism alive and start covering innovations in new innovative ways that actually match the stories we cover? To answer these questions and more I have invited to the roundtable some great journalists whose thoughts I love listening to. They all have very different backgrounds and work experiences.
Hearst's Richard Dunham has been a political correspondent and a newsroom leader in Washington for more than two decades. Kara Swisher is one of the wittiest technology writers of all times. She started her popular BoomTown column while working with the Wall Street Journal in the paper's San Francisco bureau. Now she is a co-producer and co-host of All Things Digital. Marjaana Toiminen is in charge of branding and profiling magazines for Scandinavia's biggest publishing house, Bonnier, as the company's CEO in Finland. She has just presented the publishing house's brand new mag+ reader. Martha Russell works with other prominent IT thinkers and researchers every day at Stanford's MediaX laboratory, and she is the best person to turn to for new interactive online tools. As last, Steve Katz, the current publisher of Mother Jones Magazine, has also promised to give his insight.
Other interesting participants are to follow, including YOU!