Thursday, September 29, 2005

Don't call it convergence ...

... Call it "fusion" instead. That's what designer Mario Garcia is doing as he extols the virtues of telling stories across media.

"Fusion is only now coming to the newsroom, but the fusion has already taken place in the minds of the readers" as they move from device to device (print included) through the day, he tells the South China Morning Post.

I like the term. Convergence has become one of those "skunked words" Bryan Garner talks about in his Dictionary of Modern American Usage -- so loaded with baggage that you're going to p.o. somebody no matter how you use it. Fusion has more of an artsy and less a technological tone.

And it gets across the idea. As Garcia put it: "Some stories will lend themselves to a photo gallery, others will be told better through audio or video, and reporters will have to be clued into that.
"The reporters become more like story-tellers than reporters. They will tell the stories in nine paragraphs for the newspaper and then in a multimedia format online."

I'm not sure I agree with the more-story-tellers-than-reporters line -- it's hard to tell a good story without solid reporting (and when it is attempted without solid reporting, the results are almost uniformly bad). But the essence is that reporters who have a better sense of telling a story across media are more likely to be better reporters, too.

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