Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Old school meets new school

Posted on | August 1, 2006 | No Comments

Nicholas Lemann, writing in the New Yorker, hands out a brown paper bag to those hyperventilating over Internet journalism. You could argue (and I’m sure some will) that anything written by someone paid by an old-line publishing house is suspect on its face. But his is not a polemic against the tide and fairly points out some of the ludicrous posturing online-only hacks are engaged in.
The bottom line is the audience of either readers or citizens journalists and media properties needs to learn to work together. The Internet offers a completely different way for us to engage with our audience, to tune our coverage better by virtue of that engagement and to even make them part of the news organization on a regular basis.
It’s gotta be done. I don’t think citizen journalism sites will supplant media properties ever, but as complementary outlets, there’s big upside. People need a b.s. filter and those filters work best when you have some dedicated people running them who make a living doing that (too Old School?). Otherwise, we’re all hop-scotching from the latest hot blog site or cit-journo site to the next. Look at online video: YouTube is hot but soon may be supplanted by Revver… or Google video or Yahoo video…But there are still great new sites trying new things. Remember Chi-Town Daily News, which I wrote about in June? Lemann mentions them. (I’m actually surprised there aren’t more of these emerging).
There’s no doubt that old-line publications are taking a spanking these days but they’ve awakened and they won’t roll over… at least the smart ones. If that’s where the audience is, that’s where the smart money will be.

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