Is new technology being oversold as the key to future newsroom success? 7/13/08Posted by Steve Boriss in Technology.
Ryan Thornburg conducted a survey of online journalists at North Carolina newspapers, and was surprised to find that they rated traditional newsroom concepts like time pressure, attention to detail, and news judgment higher than new technology topics, like awareness of new technology and online community management.
These results do not surprise me, as we seem to have entered a new phase in technology in which journalists can afford to use it more, but think about it less. Content Management Systems (CMS) are maturing and becoming more usable, allowing journalists to function with fewer technical skills. Adding graphics and podcasts similarly has become much easier. And with each passing day, it seems like social computing is not going to revolutionize the mainstream news business as much as originally thought, with readers still preferring the work of professionals over amateurs.
All of this is good news, because it means that journalists need not be distracted by technology from the job they really have to do – cater to the interests of readers and – for better or worse – advertisers. And given their need to develop new business models that include more original content, technology is a distraction they can do without.