[ About Us | Popular | Marcom | AdNet | IChannel | Glossary ]

May 2, 2008

NEWS: OJR's Robert Niles: Three roadblocks to successful online journalism

OJR's Robert Niles: Three roadblocks to successful online journalism

After attending a session at the NewsTools 2008: Journalism that Matters conference, Online Journalism Review's Robert Niles has highlighted key problems with today's online journalism, as discussed by participants at the conference.
Unwillingness to accept the public beta concept

Niles points out that when a website launches, it is inevitably imperfect and needs time live in the field, along with user feedback, to perfect its functioning. But journalists are accustomed to having the product be complete when it goes public; after all, it has passed through a series of edits before ever reaching the reader.
The general consensus: "Journalists would do better to think like programmers in the sense of recognizing incremental success and not getting too depressed when initiatives fail." It is the kind of new approach in journalism that can be seen, for example, in the Telegraph's brand new online innovation lab.
Being introspective, in a bad way

According to Niles, it is always the same type of people who come to journalism conferences and brainstorm solutions on how to improve the industry, an approach that he compares to the political party who always hires the same losing campaign manager.
"The journalism industry typically looks within itself for potential solutions to technical and business challenges online, when it should be looking to people outside the "news" industry who have taken on, and solved, many of the same challenges."

Monotonous content 

Online content cannot be all hard-hitting in-depth profiles and investigative pieces; plain and simple, it will not attract an audience. As Niles puts it, "even the New Yorker runs a hell of a lot of cartoons." The gimmicks that make websites a brand name are important too. 

"Journalists need to treat their websites like a dinner party," Niles writes. "You can't just dish out a plate of veggies. You need to invite your readers in, chat with them, serve 'em a drink and get them comfortable."

Source: Online Journalism Review 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments accepted immediately, but moderated.

Support Our Sponsors: