About a month ago, I connected Katie Couric and Brian Solis for a conversation about Katie’s push into new media which started in 2008. What ensued was a discussion about the challenges, the opportunities and the areas of exploration they both think about when it comes to the convergence of “new” and “old” media. What I like to call – present media.
Today I applied for a job as a Mobile Producer at Allbritton Communications – the parent company of Politico that is about to launch a new news organization, one that will serve the Washington, D.C. metro area and work to shape the “future of local news.”
Not long after I applied, I received a note back from Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at Allbritton. He wanted to know – what are my thoughts for the job description, his or her duties and the process of the producer? Luckily I think I have this one down – and I’m so glad he asked.
Job Description: Mobile Producer
• Must have ability to produce multi-platform stories
• Must be technology agnostic
• Must demonstrate editorial judgment
• Must have story instinct
The Mobile producer must demonstrate the ability to combine traditional values of journalism (integrity, fairness, balance, pursuit of truth and focus on the facts) with the social media code of conduct – transparency, collaboration, crowd sourcing and audience interaction, among others.
The Mobile producer must be in tune with the rapid changes in the media and adapt, every day, testing new newsgathering, production and story telling techniques. He or she must be able to (1) develop original content (2) aggregate that content and (3) provide deeper context to select stories in the format of research-based blog posts, long form videos, interviews, etc.
The Mobile producer must be aware that distribution of the story is just as important as the newsgathering process. Working with the social media producer and strategists, the Mobile producer will assist in listening to the target audience, seeding the stories in communities and be nimble enough to identify and react to the best distribution techniques. The Mobile producer must take seriously the responsibility of being an intelligent filter and creator of news to the residents of metro D.C.
The Mobile producer is fearless. He or she must always have gear in pockets and be ready to catch or chase a story.
The Mobile producer must care about providing information to the residents in the Washington, D.C. metro area, a city that is unique in that it has no vote in Congress, experiences high crime, low high school graduation rates, and is seat to the most powerful government in the world.
The Mobile producer, in an ideal world, is Erica Anderson!
What else should I add? Do you think I have what it takes?
Saturday I took a step back – from my laptop – to catch up with the newspaper. I chose the New York Times and forked over $2.12, a small price to pay for what turned out to be three hours of reading, writing and ideating. Each time I wanted to pull out my iPhone, I dug deeper into Sections A and B, determined to have an uninterrupted afternoon with what Devin Coldewey, a CrunchGear blogger, called “delayed media,” aka the ink newspaper.
Delayed media is 1/3 of the concept that is part of the “present media triumvirate” theory coined by Coldewey. Helen Thomas once told me that the benefit of the print newspaper is that you end up reading much more than you would have if you were searching for something online. I found that to hold true during my experiment. I read about how labor shortages in China will make their exports more expensive and I learned that Citigroup is about to launch a PR campaign aimed at revamping their image with Wall Street and Washington. Neither of which I got from my Twitter feeds and the cable news loop that I typically keep on during the days.
While I love the newspaper (I starting delivering them in fifth grade), they haven’t kept up with the pace of the web and so they haven’t kept up with me. Even though I have worked to keep them in my life, I know that the average newsreader hasn’t. And I don’t blame them. But I am trying to figure out a way to apply the best of traditional media (epitomized by the delayed media) and combine it with the best tactics and tools of the new. Continue reading
The need for Watchdogs in Washington is more important than ever.
I recently had a conversation with a progressive news organization. They intrigued me by explaining how they are expanding their political coverage online. But employees, for the time, are to be based in New York City. Don’t get me wrong, I am currently wearing a tee with those exact letters strewn across it. But leave Washington at this moment in history? It would feel so wrong.
It is a natural concern for all of us, as newspapers collapse and resources constrict, that American journalism is about to suffer. In an article in The New Republic called “Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers (Hello to an Era or Corruption),” Paul Starr wrote:
“One danger of reduced news coverage is to the integrity of government…” He went on, “…corruption is more likely to flourish when those in power have less reason to fear exposure.”
Does anyone else think it is ironic, and completely illogical – that at a moment when the news media is finding it financially impossible to do their job, the government has more power and influence than ever before? Continue reading