Journalism as we know it is changing. Rapidly.
I'm not nor have I ever been a reporter or worked for a media company, so take my commentary with that in mind. But if I can see and feel the seismic shift that's happening - and none too prettily - something must be up.
Perhaps folks like Ike Pigott and Dave Fleet are sending me brain waves or something. Both of their pieces from this week were insightful and interesting. What Ike wrote about - embedded journalism but in the business world - is kind of related to what I think needs to happen next.
When the earthquake hit California earlier this week, Twitter was right on it, as usual. Within the hour, CNN was reporting on the quake, but oddly enough they were reading off the tweets.
They were, quite simply, late. And unoriginal.
Why? Because the current model of journalism just doesn't have the presence and immediacy you need to report like Twitter did. So CNN just borrowed the best, most relevant, most instant information available. And it wasn't theirs.
Perhaps we need to be looking at a new kind of immediate stringer, reporters made up of an immediate and present network of correspondents that are on the ground AND already embedded in the social networks themselves. It's more than just citizen journalism I'm talking about here, I'm talking about ways to make the presence networks more concrete and officially part of the media.
It's social networks instead of network affiliations. Journalism based on relevance, immediacy, and context. Being part of the news instead of reacting to it and just regurgitating it.
There's lots of messiness inherent here. It's decentralized and situational. And while social networks might carry underpinnings of familiarity and trust, there's also the potential for chaos. Who moderates? How much?
Maybe that's a step toward what we need?
I don't have the answers. Like you, I'm exploring. But I was struck particularly how the lag time between what happens around us because of today's communication, and how the original media model has been built (and to me, is now sadly irrelevant, fluffy, and almost becoming a caricature of itself).
Stuff is going to crumble, and I'm increasingly curious about how the news media as we know it will rise from the ashes. If it does.
What are you thinking and feeling as you watch how today's news media reacts to what happens? Will the bridge of the early adopters make it over to the stalwarts to whom the mainstream model is still what they know? I'm curious about what's on your mind, and if you're seeing what I'm seeing.