Now, that’s a challenge for existing editorial teams, where the editor is used to being essentially a despotic ruler, with the desk heads as the high priests*. It requires the editor to stop being a director, but move more into a conductor role, where they make sure that the various parts of the team are working in harmony, but giving each section basic freedom to manage their tasks as they see fit.
Equally challenging is that fact that this feeling of wonership also needs to extends to the technology journalists use. Most bloggers
working for media companies have the traditional partially- or
completely locked down laptop, chosen and built to a corporate spec,
rather than for the needs of the blogger. By way of contrast, most
effective independent bloggers are working on their own machines,
chosen by themselves, and with their own choice of software. For the blogger the laptop is their portable office, a communication device that is an extension of themselves (witness the huge degree to which many bloggers customise their laptops with stickers). For journalists, it’s another reminder of the fact that everything they do is someone else’s.
Finding an effective way to liberate employee bloggers from these
traditional corporate constraints may well be one way of smoothing the
transition into the connected journalism age.
Anyone got any ideas?
*Yes, yes, desperately mixed metaphors there, I know.
I was up in Suffolk briefly at the weekend, and took the opportunity to grab some photos with my new iPhone. The church offered some good opportunities to test the selective focus/exposure on the latest model. For instance, this photo was focused on the carving:
And this one on the window itself:
I think touch to focus is the single most impressive feature of the iPhone 3GS. It’s a beautifully simple way of giving you focus and exposure control without introducing a host of buttons and menus. And in terms of grabbing photos quickly in the field, it’s exceptionally easy and intuative.
The camera’s low light performance still won’t win any awards, and 3 megapixels is low by most standards, but for quick, easy fodder for online reporting, it’s pretty darn handy.
I hardly ever buy a daily paper these days, but I still have something of a weekend paper habit. And, even with my brand-new iPhone 3gs to play with, I grabbed a paper and have been devouring it on my journey from Halesworth to London.
I’m finding it hard to articulate quite why, possibly because it’s an emotional and tactile decision as much as a rational one. The weekend papers evoke the lazy, quiet Sundays of my youth, and the big pages and big pictures are somehow more engrossing than the iPhone screen.
But is this just nostalgia, a transitory state only inhabited by those of us old enough to have grown up in the pre-Internet age?
I think that it’s absolutely despicable that a journalistic operation
did this. The “public interest” figleaf they’re using blows away the
second you consider that they’ve made it easier for people to connect
the blog posts with real cases, not harder.
I’ve seen journalists in several places saying things to the effect
that this proves that anonymous whistleblowers should go to journalists
to expose things of public interest. But it was journalists that
So, the attitude seems to be: “Nice story you’ve got there, guv. Better give it
to us, ‘cos it’d be a shame if your identity became public knowledge,
That’s a protection racket, and it’s how organised criminal gangs work, not respected journalists.