Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
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Sunday, January 2, 2005

Jay Rosen at NYU continues his top ten ideas of 2004 list quoting Tom Curley, CEO of the Associated Press, in a speech to the Online News Association, "Content will be more important than its container."

Rosen points out that his journalism school, like most, has students pick a container for their focus -- concentrating on newspaper, magazine or broadcast journalism -- although they're all producing content that audiences will see on the Web.

In a wonderful cross-platform connection, Rosen compares the "Content will be more important than its container" observation to Sun Microsystems' slogan for its portable  Java programming language: "Write once, run anywhere."

My random thoughts:
  • If you substitute "well" for "once," that slogan has always been true for top-notch journalists. The skills of recognizing news, then reporting accurately and clearly, have been "platform independent" for the likes of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and others who made the jump from print to broadcast.
  • These days, "run anywhere" also could suggest a job-search strategy for journalism school grads, who are advised not to set their hearts on the top media markets.
  • The phrase also might inspire muckraking enthusiasm. It reminds me to recommend a film and website, especially to those inclined to combine the skills of grassroots, civic-centered Web communication with those of investigative reporting. As demonstrated in the heading on this blog entry, the slogan merges nicely with the title of George Seldes' film biography, "Tell the Truth and Run." (While you're at it, look at his Lords of the Press to put some of today's media criticism in historical context.)

8:16:33 PM    

Dan Gillmor, journalist, weblogger and author of We the Media, has offered his last Sunday column to San Jose Mercury News readers, as he embarks on what he calls, "a new adventure, a project to help bring online grass-roots journalism to more people and communities."

With it comes a new weblog, Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, apparently losing the grass-roots hyphen along with his Merc News editors. The subtitle is modest, "A conversation about the future of journalism 'by the people, for the people.'"

"Conversation" is a key word in this new journalism of blurred roles, where "the audience" talks back more than ever, and "journalists" listen to (or read) what they have to say... and wonder who's going to pay the bills.

For more about what Dan is up to, see the Korean site, OhmyNews, which he covered in his book, and which interviewed him about his plans last month.

Unfortunately, my first attempt to add a comment to Dan's new weblog resulted in a browser crash... maybe a glitch in his new software, or my old software, or simply because there were already more than 40 voices in the chorus wishing him "good luck" and "Happy New Year."

6:57:22 PM    

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