It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Post-Paper Journalism

Once the news media understand that the printed paper is an adjunct to the website and not the other way around, we may start getting more useful information.

Hank Roberts just posted a comment on this thread pointing to a recent case wherein our friends at the Wall Street Journal got it right. Now of course, they didn't get it right on any topic of immediate interest to sustainability questions, but there's no reason that the same approach couldn't be taken.

OK? To review:
  1. Take an extra day and get it right.
  2. Word count doesn't matter. If you only have a paragraph about an important news item, write a paragraph. You can add more later.
  3. There is no more ink. If it takes 15,000 words to tell a story that is not featured prominently, tell it all anyway.
  4. Your work will be more valuable if you link to your competitors than if you just link to random places on your own site.
  5. Link to your sources. If you did your job right you have nothing to hide.
  6. Not everything important has a specific dateline. Feature slow but important stories on the front page sometimes.
  7. The paper copy isn't important. It isn't a "paper" anymore.

Update: So much for getting it right. You'll have to just imagine the example now; it's behind the subscriber firewall. (Or at least I will, anyway. While Rupert Murdoch should feel free to send me money, I prefer not to have it flow the other way, thanks. )


tidal said...

re: your #5 "Link to your sources. If you did your job right you have nothing to hide."

I am surprised that this is not done more often, and we should encourage it. I appreciate what George Monbiot does. His pieces in The Guardian generally do not contain links or references, even in the online versions, which is probably a Guardian convention. But he republishes each piece at his own site, fully referenced/linked... to independent sources...

E.g. "Majesty, We Have Gone Mad"... Guardian version and version.

AdamW said...

Ben Goldacre (see also Guardian writer, also does the same.

Michael Tobis said...

Too many good blogs in the world. Nice link, thanks! (I think.)

Marion Delgado said...

I have worked as a print and radio reporter, editor and producer and I agree completely.

tidal said...

Hey, maybe the Guardian is reading your blog: See Back to basics on climate change

A simple, interesting comment/p.o.v. in its own right, but the author is using various hyperlinks. Not sure I have seen that before at the Guardian.