A few years ago, I was meeting with a group of editors who wanted to use more multimedia elements (videos, timelines, interactive graphics) but said that their newsroom was too taxed. Their reporters were already so busy, how could they possibly find time to make slideshows or post entries to blogs?
I explained that as more of our daily communication happens digitally, the very nature of journalism has evolved as well. In the past, a reporter would find a lead, gather information and write the story. An editor would go through and make changes, a copy editor would fix any mistakes and then the story would get published. But in the digital world, things don't happen in such a confined, linear way. Now there are social networks and video chat rooms and limitless arenas in which anyone can produce content.
Stories online, once published, continue to live. That's partially because with each new link to the story, there's boundless possibility for commentary, feedback, and additional stories based on what originally appeared. It's also because the story becomes part of a broader discussion, whether it happens via Twitter or on someone's blog or even (hopefully!) within the comment sections on your news organizations's website.
I created a workflow for online editorial content, and it became a wildly popular paper that was used in newsrooms and journalism textbooks all over the world. So much has happened in the past two years since I first published the workflow: the emergence of geo-social networks (Foursquare, Gowalla), the growing popularity of recommendation networks (Publish2, Aardvark), real-time publishing hits critical mass (Twitter, Facebook). I decided it was time for an update!
Just as before, notice that it's continual -- there is no beginning or end. Download it and tack it to your cubicle wall. Make it your desktop image. Tweet it, Facebook it, send it to your LinkedIn connections. If your newsroom calls itself converged and isn't following this workflow, you have a problem.
You can read more about the workflow here.
Amy Webb is a digital media consultant and the CEO of Webbmedia Group, LLC. She has also launched Knowledgewebb, a new website for multimedia training. You can follow Amy on Twitter. Webbmedia Group is a vendor-neutral company. Any opinions expressed about products or services are formed after testing, research and interviews. Neither Amy Webb nor Webbmedia Group or its employees receives any financial or other benefits from vendors.