March 21, 2008

News media, meet your pioneer

Imagine you're a young journalist who gets called in over the weekend to do a story on education and the state budget because half the staff is out with a nasty flu bug. Also, your regular beat is covering high school sports.

If you were this particular reporter, the appropriate expression would normally be “oh shit.” (See also, "this ought to be interesting")

However, if you are David Cohn, then you'd imagine a fix for this particular predicament and proceed to blog about it on 1 of 5 different social community sites.

I spoke with him briefly, and then proceeded to check out his blog, which contains his commentary journalism. He covers all aspects of the profession in relation to technology. It's extremely refreshing and accurate.

After reading several posts on various sites, I find myself wishing someone would give David a million dollars then proceed to lock him into a computer lab with a team of the best coders and a sleek innovative designer. Stir rigorously for one week, and then let them out. I'm pretty sure the result of such an experiment would remake the news media entirely the way Google did for the Internet.

If you've ever wondered why news media hasn't figured out how to make the web work for them in a big way, then I'd highly recommend checking out his daily thoughts.

Here's a quick description for two of his sites: - Cohn's personal blog
Sample post, Quote:
“Am I a journalist or a blogger? My answer: Both - they aren't mutually exclusive. Every time people ask me what I do - if I'm tired and don't want to go into it, I sigh and say I'm a “blogger.“ But I know that isn't the truth...Give Bob Woodward a blog - and he is still a journalist. Give my mother her own print product - she is still not a journalist (sorry mom).” - Experiment in beat reporting with social networks
Sample post, Quote:
“...Figure out social networks. How do the work, whats the ebb and flow, how do you gently lead one, how do you deal with trolls, etc. This is the skill set that isn't taught on the job right now but will become increasingly important.”


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