I read a short blog post by Lewis Dvorkin of Forbes about how they are developing a comprehensive digital content-management system for the magazine. I was struck by the following passage, which concisely describes the “new journalism” that is becoming the way of the news-publishing world:
With all that, I find myself transfixed by the emerging talents of a new breed of digital journalist, reporter, writer, blogger — or whatever label you choose to attach to knowledgeable content creators in the internet era.
A single journalist can now use the ways of the Web to research, report and investigate. That same journalist can produce or find relevant photos for their stories — and video and audio, too. In real time, the journalist can mine and extract the information they need from the world’s communication and data streams. That same journalist, at their desktop or with a cell phone or iPad in hand, can then produce and program it all for publication and broadcast, then distribute and market it across the web, then join and moderate a rewarding conversation.
This new kind of journalism is continuous and never ending, because the individual content creator has truly become part of a community. News consumers benefit as full participants in a transparent process that offers more information and context. With all due respect to the talented journalists who came before, it’s not solely about reporting and writing any more. Today, you need to do it all.
Sounds pretty cool, except there is one thing missing — the PR guy feeding the journalist story ideas and news about his client.
That should scare the hell out of me, but it doesn’t. Why? Because the “new journalist” still needs the content that we the flacks have. She needs our photos, access to our experts and reliable, easily accessible information about our clients. We just have to get content to her in a new and different way.
That’s where our challenge lies — not in getting the “new journalists” to know and trust us, but to make sure they know how and where to access the content that is critical to their accomplishing their job and to us accomplishing ours.