Thursday, November 05, 2009

Convergence Conference: News orgs still don't get it

I'm at the "Convergence and Society" conference in Reno the next couple of days and will be trying to do regular updates (as long as the battery holds out).

The first session today is "The changing media landscape," but what we are finding is that not all that much is changing. I'm just going to post my notes here; no great attempt to make them into a narrative.

Tim Bajkiewicz and Marcus Messner: Engaging the future

Interviews with managers of nine news orgs. 30 minutes each. Use "convergence continuum" to return to integration of theory. Grounded theory: our findings are about their perceptions.

Major themes:
• Convergence not really right word. Just about engaging audience among platforms
• Business not ink on paper but bringing information to the community. But print is still the major driver.
• Not only depending on print, but everything it brings to the table.
• Cool Tools: They were aware of new, cool tools, but a disconnect. Managers seem to know what is going on, but it has not made its way into the business plan.
• Mobile is going to be the thing, but no one sure how to monetize
• Social media communities – trying to engage, but not necessarily the driving force

Conclusions
• No real new media strategies
• Disconnect with ground-level journalists
• Know what need to do but not doing it
• Cost hurdle, bunker mentality
• Conundrum: while trying to assimilate tech, more native-to-the-Web operations may eat their lunch.
• New media is still an experiment

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