Tuesday, May 12, 2009

online news, competing with television and newspapers

In The Washington Post this week, media writer Howard Kurtz lamented the Death of Print in an online world. Will anyone pick up the newspaper anymore?

"(Newspapers) created sites that were largely a static replica of their print editions," wrote Kurtz. "There was little updating, little sense of the dynamism of the Web... "

And I wondered, how can print journalists provide great journalism online. I see excellent examples online today, combining quality "print-style" writing with online delivery.

crash on washingtonpost.comOn Feb. 12, 2009, a Colgan Air flight from Newark to Buffalo crashed on a cold night, killing all 49 on board one person on the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board started hearings today and two newspapers reported their stories today — online.

The news story I saw on washingtonpost.com in the late morning, Sholnn Freeman reported the "pilots discussed their lack of experience flying planes under icing conditions and expressed anxiety about their training as they looked out of the cockpit windows and saw ice built up on the wings."

I wondered what the pilots sounded like when they said that. The Post didn't have a multimedia package available for this story, but The Buffalo News did.

They offered a live webcast of the hearings, though I couldn't find the plug-in for my Firefox browser. Jerry Zremski ended his account of the hearing proceedings with: "The recording ended with Shaw's screams."

The Buffalo News will lose street sales tomorrow from readers who saw the air crash information online today. But they'll gain online readers who will want to hear the audio, watch the videos, view the multiple images and link back to archived accounts of the crash.

This is the quality of online delivery with the standard of print journalism that will keep newspapers alive, whether your fingers are typing or smeared with newsprint ink.

As Kurtz said, "Maybe serious journalism will reinvent itself in new and unexpected forms. But if everything goes electronic, I'll always miss the feel of newsprint."

I will miss newsprint, too, but I know I can adapt my learning style for on-demand information — now.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Realty Secret Agent said...

I think it is only a matter of time before the general public understands that there is value in the on-line experience over the traditional print media.

Will it be generational? Just think about the things our parents could NOT understand about new technology. To this day they refuse to invest the time to learn how to properly use a PC.

Will we allow the transition in our lifetime? I would say anyone reading this response WILL because they already understand the value of Blogging and Bloggers.

You have to believe that some of our generation will take the place of our parents. Refusing to accept the change that this new media format brings.

Just my two cents. Good points Tom!