Can Laid-off Journalists Reinvent Themselves?

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The question is can laid-off journalists reinvent themselves?

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Here are some interesting thoughts about hyber local blogs. These are the thoughts of Tracy Record from West Seattle Blog.

“The question for some is really, SHOULD they? I think that newspapers, which even with their much-lamented cuts still have comparatively HUGE content staffs – I spent most of my old-media career in TV news, where you might have a dozen reporters/editorial managers spread across seven days and three dayparts, while big dailies still have dozens – should focus on context and perspective. Until and unless we add more staff, I can’t do that in a major way, though we do longer-form articles and enterprised stories/features when we can, and look for alternate ways of offering context and empowering people to find it themselves. Aside from that, some companies still think all they have to do is aggregate their content that mentions or targets a given neighborhood and voila! it’s “hyperlocal.” Doesn’t work. There’s no “there” there, and if ever you need a “there,” it’s when covering a “here.” You need a trusted guide, a sense of neighborhood, even if that person/team (like us) doesn’t give opinions.”

This is wise. One thing popular bloggers know is that they need to have a connection with their audience. That’s very important. Just linking, although important, doesn’t create that connection.

It’s important to have a voice. Tennessean Brittney Gilbert has led the way in mainstream media having a guide when she was at Nashville is Talking and at Eye on Blogs in San Francisco. People felt that connection and still interact with her on Twitter. She is real and what you see is what you get.

The other question that remains for journalists is how to combine their skills to be inclusive to the new market.

We are working on it.

Image credit.

Newscoma

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2 Comments

  1. Angela Connor said December 27, 2008 | Permalink

    Thanks for the pingback on this post! I only posted an excerpt of my interview with Tracy on the Technolo-J blog and would encourage your readers to read the full interview which I will link to via my name above. Journalists need to tap into the skills they use to land interviews to reinvent themselves. There is a major connection and lots of networking in the early stages of reporting and information gathering. Imagine if a reporter really connected with the people behind all of those business cards they’ve connected over the years. they’d have an amazing network. I say it’s not too late to try to go back and capture some of that.

  2. newscoma said December 28, 2008 | Permalink

    Angela, thanks for the feedback. Your observation about business cards is right on. I wanted folks to come to your site to head on over to Tracy’s. Writers can write anywhere. I’m not sure the old school folks get that.
    Things are changing quickly.
    I’m kind of digging it myself.
    Thanks for stopping by and you’ve been bookmarked, my new cyberfriend.

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