I’ve been kicking around an idea after reading the book Outliers: The Story of Success. One of the major themes of the book is that success doesn’t come just from having raw talent or outworking the competition. Successful people usually have talent, work ethic, AND are able to put them to use to become experts in an area just before a major change takes place.
It isn’t hard to draw parallels to the accounts in the book and what we’re seeing with the newspaper industry. The people who are successful at the end of the upheaval will be those who’ve become experts at the new rules and new tools of the game.
If I had to name the top three aspects of journalism going forward, I’d say it would be wise to focus on these:
- Real Time
Obviously, accuracy will always be a staple of journalism. Without accuracy we’re wandering into the realm of rumor and fiction. The market for accurate information isn’t changing. In fact, it’s probably growing due to the ease of sharing information real time and concisely. We don’t have to look far back in time to see why.
The idea of delivering accurate information real time and in a concise manner–that’s the real challenge. The new rules don’t have deadlines and editors cutting articles down to fit on pages. Instead, the new rules are throngs of first person accounts being broadcast in 140 characters or less as events are happening. The new rules are 140 character attention spans that spread inaccurate information as fast (or faster) than accurate information.
What are you doing today to put yourself in the position of being a trusted source of accurate and timely information served up in an individual sized package?
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