Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Journalism posts: a summary IV

Posted in Fresh eyes series, Ideas for the future of news, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on March 31, 2010

It’s the end of the first quarter – here’s a wrap of all the highlights you might have missed on the blog so far in 2010..

Future of Journalism

10 resolutions to make you a better journalist in 2010

On snow and innovation

The one question journalists need to start asking

The newspaper doing multimedia journalism…in the 1950s

Three ideas for news businesses which will never work (and why)

Ideas for the Future of News: 006 – geo tagging

Ideas for the Future of News: 007 – the revolutionary search engine

Fresh Eyes: what can journalists learn from a musician?

Fresh Eyes: what can journalists learn from a web coder?

Fresh Eyes: what can journalists learn from a branding expert?

Why the BBC cuts are a call to action for Next Generation Journalists

Multimedia Journalism

My new ebook for hyperlocal websites is published

Book review: The Digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark S Luckie

Five myths about shooting video

The TV news package is ripped to pieces…and how you can make it better

Five quick tricks to add spice to your storytelling

Three amazing films – shot on a DSLR camera

…and why the DSLR is changing video journalism

The digital magazine pushing the boundaries of online storytelling

Previous summaries from 2009 are right here!

A call to action for Next Generation Journalists

Posted in Broadcasting and Media, Ideas for the future of news, Journalism by Adam Westbrook on March 2, 2010

The last seven days has seen two big announcements from two of the world’s largest broadcasters.

Last week, American TV Network ABC announced a huge swathe of cuts in their newsrooms: more than 300 jobs in total. They’re cutting their technical staff back by using their control room suites more effectively…and bringing in multimedia journalists:

“In production, we will take the example set by Nightline of editorial staff who shoot and edit their own material and follow it throughout all of our programs, while recognizing that we will continue to rely upon our ENG crews and editors for most of our work”.

David Westin, memo to ABC staff

As Micheal Rosenblum rightly says:  “Welcome, ABC News, to 1990”.

And this morning, the BBC in the UK have confirmed what some within the corporation had been suspecting for months, and fearing since Friday: a £600m series of cuts, which will halve the number of websites, and close two digital radio stations: 6music and the Asian Network.

“The reality for the BBC is that it faces increasingly difficult choices. Failure to make such choices would lead to limitless expansion, increasing demands for funding and corresponding impact on the wider market. That prospect is not one the Trust can accept.”

Sir Michael Lyons, BBC Chairman

There’s lots of concern and a fair bit of understandable anger about both cuts. Thing is, they’re both valid decisions in the financial and ever-changing digital climate.  Two sad victims of the seismic shift we’re undergoing.

Chess piece or chess player?

It’s time for the broadcasters, journalists and creatives of the future to pick up the pieces. These cut backs are tragic, but they create new opportunities for us to exploit. For example, BBC 6music served a young niche audience extremely well with alternative music, documentaries and even radio plays. Who’d have thought that would work?

When it closes all those people will need a new home. Who will they go to?

According to the last UK census, 2% of the British population are Asian. Where will their news, music and community come from on a national level when the Asian Network is taken off air?

Radio futurologist James Cridland, speaking at February’s Future of News Meetup, just hours before the BBC cuts were first leaked, showed us how radio stations in Canada schedule 30 minute documentaries in the middle of their breakfast shows and make it work; how NPR in the US are combining pictures with their audio to reach audiences in new ways. There is still a huge amount of innovation to be done.

With these sad changes, new markets open up. It is now cheaper, faster and easier to become a publisher and broadcaster online than it ever has been. Will you exploit this new opportunity or pass it by? Your call.