Friday, November 12, 2004

Lessons from Newsplex No. 5

OK, let's resume (again, to credit, this is some of what has been learned at Newsplex as summarized by Kerry Northrup of Ifra, the 'founding father' of the complex, and shortened and paraprased here with appropriate commentary) ...

There's no one definition for convergence; it's dependent on the widely varying marketplace.

In the broadest sense, convergence is a process whereby media companies break out of their traditional forms and formats to deliver richer news an information services more in concert with the way that consumers are choosing to access and use such resources.
There are two corollaries to summarize:

First, modern journalism is a continuum; you simply cannot think of your story in only one medium anymore. Even within a medium, this is being recognized. One panelist at the ACRE conference today noted that at her former paper, graphics were called "non-narrative storytelling." That's more than verbal fecundity. It evidences, I think, a change of mindset that realizes that while the current medium might be ink on paper, this organization is willing to embrace the potential of other media presentations of the material.

The second I'll quote directly from Northup: Convergence is not about technology. It is about the story that reaches consumers by way of the technologies that consumers use as part of their media mix. You can just as easily substitute "the medium" for "technology" and get the idea. Consumers are determining the technology by which content will be delivered. So if you think of yourself as a "newspaper" or a "broadcast" journalist, are you defining yourself to your audience as only a bit player for the limited times they want to use your medium?


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