Wednesday, February 04, 2004

After a a good sleep and reflection, one other thought from the S.C. Mobile Primary weblog, and that is the way it highlights the worth and necessity of the news resourcer.
Though many news organizations have cut back on the news librarian (see, for instance "News Libraries in Crisis" or an overview from the Institute of New Media Studies (link and scroll down to the libraries entry)), that's likely to be a bad move in a multimedia age.
The news resourcer concept at Newsplex is much more than a traditional "librarian." Resourcers are information gathering and augmenting specialists who must be an integral part of news coverage. It isn't possible for an editor to manage multiple multimedia streams without such help.
Numerous times last night, for instance, I was able to turn to a resourcer and say "Can you find a link to pictures of Edwards' bus?" or "Can you get me some background and links for coverage of the upcoming Michican and Washington state caucuses?" These are the sorts of things that broaden and deepen our multimedia stories.

But it also is more than that. Resoucers are not just "go fetch" specialists. Numerous times, they brought valuable information to me that I as storybuilder had not thought of including. That is the robustness of the position. Resourcers are integral to the modern newsroom and are as much journalists as anyone with a pad, pen or camera.

No longer is the librarian simply a keeper of the clips in a dusty corner. Executives who do not realize the key role they will play in our future are missing the point of it all.


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