Journalist. Media development professional

Journalism is not dead, long live journalism

Lately, I’ve been driving my husband crazy. I’m always distracted. My mind is simply elsewhere. I’m presently living “on planet Natasha,” to quote his description of my current state of mind. The reason is simple. There is so much innovation going on in the realm of digital journalism and its integration with social media that I’m both overwhelmed and elated. What’s happening in the online journalism arena is so cutting- edge, so creative, and extremely crucial in improving the current human condition that I’m constantly monitoring and watching (sadly, to the exclusion of other things in my life). Really, can you blame me for being distracted in this age of round-the-clock digital innovation?

Contrary to the popular belief that journalism is dying (yada, yada, yada), I think journalism is in its best shape ever. It’s not dying, but rather evolving. The old format of journalism might be dead, but the new one is so fresh and promising that the even the sky is not the limit.

Journalism graduates: Do not fear the future, embrace it!

As someone whose career is in media development, watching trends and monitoring new journalism innovation is what I do on a daily basis, believe me when I tell you that journalism is at the forefront of  digital novelties continuing to further advance the quality of people’s lives everywhere.

One new journalism “tool” that I have been experimenting with is “social curation” using  storify. The idea behind it is really simple: Editors of newspapers, websites or anyone can use this tool to search social media tools for a certain topic, then filter the best items, whether they were tweets, Facebook updates, Flickr, etc, to create a story that can be embedded on a website.

Here is one example. I created a search term for ARJI conference (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) which is currently taking place in Amman. I chose what I thought were the best social media items and created a story here. Now I can easily embed the story on my blog like this:

Now, the neat thing is that I can go back to this story anytime and update it with any new development and then republish it. The embedded code will update itself automatically without me needing to overwrite it. This kind of innovation is a real gift for website editors who are constantly following breaking news and gauging the community response to a certain event.

Storify has been making waves lately and harnessing a good amount of coverage in the media (here is one example). The creators behind Storify believe that they are building “the future of publishing” by “finding meaning in the noise”. It is a pretty neat idea if you ask me. Here is a an interview with the two founders of Storify:

This is only one of the latest innovative tools currently found in the playground of online media. Recently, social media blog Mashable ran an article about how investigative journalism is prospering thanks to social media. The amount of tools and new creations by and for journalists is simply mind-boggling.

With that in mind, do you really blame me for being distracted all the time? Journalism is not dead. Long live journalism.

3 Comments

  1. <fb:name linked=Jeffrey Scott Tynes's Gravatar" src="http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/972a11a2496bd8d70e2f8f34fff01bad?s=45&d=wavatar&r=x" width="45" height="45" /> Jeffrey Scott Tynes
    November 26, 2010    

    Actually, this is really cool and fully meriting the distraction (just don’t forget to feed me).

    It’s remarkable to see what really a remarkable evolution is underway. As a variation on Mr. Twain, I do think the rumors of journalism’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

    With Mr. Jobs on board (and Mr. Murdoch), it’s hard to know where it will go, but I can’t wait to get there.

  2. November 26, 2010    

    I couldn’t agree more; particularly your point about Journalism evolving. Yes, old news print may be on the way out, but Journalism has evolved into the digital medium. And, the Storify application you mentioned and demonstrated is what we in the I.T. field call a “Killer App.” Those words may not sound nice, but it is complement. Finally, I wish you continued success in your field of expertise.

  3. November 27, 2010    

    Yes, I have tried Storify and it’s great. It’s going to be a very useful tool for digital journalist no matter what your platform. Your kind of distraction can perhaps be called “constructive distraction.” Keep blogging.

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