Journalists and scholars have talked on and off about the idea of journalism as a conversation for nearly 20 years. It stands in contrast to decades of traditional journalism as a lecture, in which the all-knowing journalist alone decides what is news and conducts a monologue with the public on such matters, or maybe a dialogue with public officials and other elites. Citizens here are at best passive bystanders. But no more.
Now pretty much anyone with Internet access and a few Web tools can create and distribute news, collaborate with professional journalists in real time and select what news to follow, if any, from a dizzying array of choices. The media business and academia were slow to pick up on the change but are now taking heed. Curiously, little empirical research developed to help us understand what exactly we mean by conversation and then how to apply it to journalism's most treasured values, credibility and expertise.
Until now. This presentation explores key practical tips from doctoral research on how best to incorporate citizen audiences into online media processes. Doing it haphazardly can mean loss of perceived credibility, authority and just plain likeability. Doing it well, however, can create the kind of sustained interest we all crave for our sites.
In the past 15 years, the media and technology worlds have practically switched places. Tech companies have gone from needing to be 50,000+ employee behemoths to being teams of two guys that can ship products 1 million people love and that can change the world. All-powerful news organizations that used to support globe-trotting foreign correspondents reporting on human rights are now teams of 8-10 bloggers who must be glued to their computer screens at all times for a whiff or tweet of breaking news.
Companies that leverage the content their users create like Facebook, Quora, Instagram and Twitter are getting better and better every year, while thinning profit margins are undermining the ability of paid media professionals to produce quality work.
How should for-profit media companies evolve in an era when the audience has taken over the controls? What are the business models that media companies are using today and how are they changing? Which approach will you take?
11th–15th March 2011