Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Not a long post from today's Poynter session; we did a lot, but a fair amount on ethics and restructuring curriculum -- all stuff that involves information about rather identifiable institutions and individuals that shall remain unidentified. ...

But two things struck me: The Orlando-Sentinel and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel are interesting convergence models. With senior editors who serve as buffers between all the media, and who have significant staffs to help write broadcast, do radio, etc., this seems to be the gold standard for doing such things. But, now that Orlando has severed its ties with its 24-hour cable station, it will be interesting to see if it lasts.

Out of the ethics discussion came one "ah ha" moment: While convergence gives us more freedom, it also might well limit our independence. Consider a case where you, as editor, have qualms about a story, but one of your convergence partners wants your reporter on air? Sound easy to say "no"? What about if the GM of that broadcast station calls your publisher or, worse, the group VP, and says, "Hey, we're paying thousands of dollars into this partnership" ... etc. Sound so simple now?
Something to think about.


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