Thursday, October 21, 2004

Lessons from Newsplex No. 2

This one I'm going to quote in full because it's important -- and brief:

The management complexity of handling stories in multiple media for integrated distribution acros a variety of channels to an increasingly fragmented audience is quantum levels greater than what most newsrooms and news managers are experienced with today.
Most of us in this industry have barely begun to scratch the surface of this. Newsplex, for all its benefits, is an imperfect test because it does not have a regular print or broadcast channel to access. Yet even in producing the Wireless Election Connection moblog, the difficulties became apparent. I can't begin to count the number of times we had story elements appearing without a clear understanding of what story threads they were designed for. And then we had to figure out, somtimes on the fly, how to structure style, presentation, etc., to tie together the disparate and asynchronously arriving elements. This was with simple still photos and short weblogging entries. Add video, audio, databases, graphics, etc. -- all part of what a new media experience should be -- and you begin to see the challenges.

Traditional newspaper and broadcast structures naturally concentrate the flow at a copydesk or producer. That will have to change if we are to meet the challenge of rapid relevance.


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