Journalism’s fatal disconnect with business
Former Belo employee Cory Bergman artfully describes our challenge in doing journalism in the digital age. The recognition that we have to encompass community, journalism and technology reminds me of the 'three circles' conversation started by Steve Yelvington. Each circle is similar to one these elements: the Town Crier is the journalist, the Town Square is the community and the Town Expert is the technology overlay.
By splitting journalism and business into two buckets separated by a longstanding cultural divide, the two groups fail to collaborate on ideas that tap the strengths of both. And neither have a track record of understanding how technology enables community, the greatest opportunity of all. In fact, nearly three-quarters of local online news consumers say newspapers have failed in providing a sense of community and “connective tissue” in their local cities and neighborhoods (Forrester Research 2009). After all, most journalists want to control the conversation. So do the sales folks. So you need a third element: creative technology folks, empowered with resources, who can infuse community in content and revenue generation, providing value to both users and businesses.