Sep 14, 2010

Going online vs. being online

In a piece at the Online Journalism Review, Robert Hernandez explains the difference between online journalism and journalism online. It's the difference between taking what you do offline and posting it to the web and using the web and its tools to create a new type of coverage. Here's how he explains it:
Journalism Online is what we use to lovingly call "shovelware," which is taking existing "legacy" content and posting it on the Web. We know that there is immeasurable value in having the paper's articles, radio show's podcast and TV show's newscasts available on the Web.

Text alone is perhaps the most powerful form of journalism on the Web.

But that is still Journalism Online.

What I do.... what I identify with... what I live and breathe is Online Journalism.

So, what is that exactly?

Well, it's hard to explain but I look at the latest technology and opportunities only available on the Internet and try to harness them for the advancement and distribution of storytelling and journalism.

I look at FourSquare and see how we can use that to find eye-witness sources in breaking news events. I look at photo gallery widget by TripAdvisor, meant for vacation snapshots, and see how it could enrich our coverage of, say, the World Cup.

I work with engineers and see how our crafts can work together and create new experiences. Like when we took RSS feeds from around the globe and mapped them for a Seattle Times project. It was based on the addicting, but somewhat pointless Twittervision.

Think of how more powerful our journalism becomes when we crowd-source. Add some technology, like CNN did by using Microsoft's PhotoSynth, and it captures a historic moment in a unique way.
Eventually, the two worlds will collapse into one, but at a point when this technology is so new, it makes sense to have people on the vanguard. The tension it creates is healthy, too; though the decimation of coverage by media companies that don't know which world to be in is obviously depressing.

(via Nieman Journalism Lab)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What is the purpose of any of these ideas? None of them sound vaguely interesting. Crowd sourcing improving journalism? So five years ago.