A Small Rant?
For the past few decades there has been a race to modernize the news – more platforms, faster availability, galleries, and videos with every photograph taken. Everyone has aimed to take the next step to get more media to more people but there has been an inherent lack of modernization of the newsroom itself. With antiquated systems, gear decades old and newsroom ideas and approaches from the 1980s there is a disconnect between what newsrooms want to produce and what newsrooms are.
The old saying you are product of your environment holds true to organizations, staff and content as well as it does an individual person. The lack of progression in the environment of a newsroom itself is holding the progress of the actual news and delivery back. Working in the confines of an antiquated building with cabinets full of papers untouched for decades puts a dampener on creativity and forward thinking. The cluttered and outdated desks of editors forces a digression in progress from up and coming news visionaries. What is the purpose of modernizing the way news is delivered and shared if we cannot modernize the way we work and think.
The force from higher authorities to streamline news production and force deadlines on people using technology over a decade old hinders the progression and creativity ability of journalists and media producers alike. The do more with less and the “this is how it was done before” attitude from the newsroom limits the actual growth of the industry itself. What is the point of trying to excel and modernize the news when you leave the newsroom producing it in the dark ages.
With the introduction and evolution of social media and apps there has been a gradual adoption and integration into news and media platforms. It seems there is a disconnect between the social media concept and evolving newsrooms. The lack of the social aspect in social media is the main hindrance facing the growth of news media in social applications in the modern age. Newsrooms are focused on all these new and fancy apps and programs but use the traditional newsroom thought process to power them. Newsrooms may have a single entity controlling an account where an entire team should have access to post articles, updates and behind the scenes content to keep the newsroom connected to the community they are serving. Just starting multiple social media accounts and posting links and dry captions that direct to your web page is not social. It is a cobweb approach to suck in a reader or two for your analytics for the day. Social media should be used as a social avenue with content producers and the community of subscribers. It should be used to build connections leapfrog ideas and find stories, not a one way message system to re-post the same links to day after day.
With the large shift to digital news delivery there has been a lack of digital back-end integration in news rooms for editing and production. Phones, tablets, smart watches and computers are the leading edge of the news delivery market, yet reports, budgets and copy is all still analog. If the digitization of news delivery and adaption new technology to reach a large audience is so groundbreaking, why is it not implemented in the newsroom. For the digital news to be delivered staff has to rely on vintage methods to produce it. Current newsrooms are coal engines powering sports cars.
With the advent of digital outlets and the speed news has to hit consumers there has been a disconnect with the roots of journalism itself. Just skimming the surface, a set of Cliffs Notes on the topic and onto the next story. There has been an erosion of journalism itself because of the pursuit of being first in digital media. Although it has been a race to digitization to stay relevant and some cases afloat there is a point when you lose a part of journalism that was at your core and need to reel it back into the newsroom. The people factor, the community the things that make the area tick. There is no one diving deep into real issues anymore, covering the situation but not the cause, the why and the deeper reasons and story. That is what journalism used to be digging to the reason, holding people accountable and all it is now is ad revenue and catch headlines.
With the push for modernization of the delivery of news it seems many publications are still stuck on a newspaper time delivery. Why release the news when you feel like it rather than when it is happening. The thought to modernize the news is being held back by almost archaic habits. Until we truly modernize the entire thought of news and modernizing the delivery of it we will continue to struggle.