March 29, 2007

News, Improved on Pressthink

Jay Rosen was kind enough to invite Michele McLellan and I to write about News, Improved on Pressthink. Here's the beginning of the piece:

Back in the day -- that day when the newspaper was as much as part of daily American life as the cell phone now is -- back in that good ol' day, newsrooms were run and staffed mostly by autocratic, tough-talking men, news was what those men said it was, by God, and no one on the editorial side (and not too many on the business side, either) worried about making money because having a newspaper was pretty much a license to print it.

That day, as we know, has gone the way of the green eye shade, but vestiges of its temperament linger in our newsrooms, hampering their ability to envision and implement the one thing they need for survival: strategic change.

The good news, though, is that many newsrooms have moved on. They've shuttered the trophy cases of the past and pointed their focus forward, to a future that while still unknown will surely be shaped only by those who get their hands dirty with its making.

During our work with Tomorrow's Workforce we saw all points in the spectrum.

We saw many journalists clinging to the way things were. They rationalized their resistance to change by invoking the rules of journalistic tradition, complaining about lack of resources or accusing others, such as bloggers or even readers, as the reason for newspapers’ decline in relevancy.

We also saw many journalists embracing change - editors trying to craft new forms of journalism atop its core principles, reporters carrying cameras as well as notebooks, executives launching targeted news products to capture audience.

Mostly, though, we saw many journalists worried about the future of news. They knew change was necessary and they knew they needed new skills for a new age of journalism - both for themselves and for their news organizations - but they weren't sure how to make that change happen or how to acquire those skills.

That’s the group we wrote News, Improved for. We wanted to provide journalists who intend to succeed at transformational change with a set of tools that can help them adopt techniques and ideas more apt for today's digital world.

Read the rest on Pressthink.

Posted by Tim Porter at March 29, 2007 07:40 AM

Tim-- I ordered your book and am looking forward to reading it as soon as it arrives. Congratulations!

Posted by: acline on April 2, 2007 11:43 AM
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