Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who's in charge here!

My newsroom has a dirty little secret. We don’t know which little work horse is pulling the media cart.

Multimedia is more than knowing how to work a camera. It’s asking the right questions to understand if an assignment will be best presented as one printed story, one photo, a photo gallery, a video, a podcast, a series, a special section, an interactive web page or more likely a combination of these.

My newsroom is still thinking like a dated print product. We don’t ask if there’s multimedia opportunities. For example, on the same day we built a story where there wasn’t one, we turned our back on a great public event by trying to sum up its issue in one photo. I think Hitchcock called that criss cross.

Ideally, reporters would be equipped with all the gear they need to react and come back with the best content. My newsroom doesn't have that luxury. We share banged up equipment.

Reporters are under a great deal of pressure to use social media and gear that delivers our news immediately and in different formats. It’s time editors join us.

Whether you credit FDR or Peter Parker’s uncle, it’s true that with great power comes great responsibility. My newsroom is very top heavy, but they’re not asking the right questions to help me do my job better.

It’s a shared responsibility. Let’s give some thought to our content and give reporters a say in how assignments are covered. For editors, it's a chance to share the blame. For journalists, it's a way to build a better product and portfolio.

The Hyper Journalist


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