Student: I want to tell the truth about journalism that nobody wants to say

Daily Californian | McGuire on Media
Mihir Zaveri discloses in the first graf that he wrote his essay on the state of journalism after drinking three bottles of BridgePort Kingpin Double Red Ale. (“For some reason my journalistic passion rears itself much more coherently after some level of inebriation,” the UC-Berkeley student tells me in an email.) His point is that it’s not the fault of Craigslist or the blogosphere that newspaper journalism has been turned upside down.

All of that stuff is on us, the journalists. It’s our fault. Our job was to report the news, and we did that. But we got complacent, and we stopped evolving, and soon the concept of a news article became far removed from what you, as a person, valued. Now we find ourselves in an awkward position where an indispensable component of democracy is slipping away, and we’re scrambling.

“We, as journalists, need to be in your face all the time,” the UC-Berkeley student tells his readers. Newspapers need to be transparent — “You need to know who the editors are, where they come from and what they value” — and their journalists need to be out in the community. “We need to hold public meetings where you can come and talk to us about what we do and tell us what you like and what you don’t so that we can be better. We need to better serve you.”

At last weekend’s Society of Features Editors convention, veteran editor and educator Tim McGuire shared his thoughts on what newspapers are up against in the digital era:

I am afraid I am operating under the impression that Google, Groupon, Apple, Facebook and Twitter, new media startups and scores of garage entrepreneurs are out innovating newspapers on a daily basis. I am afraid I find little newspaper innovation breath-taking. I guess I am convinced that risk-takers without the mindset boundaries of newspapering are legitimate threats to newspaper survival.

If you believe I have a point I hope you’ll consider that if journalism is to be saved by newspaper practitioners, the hand cuffs must come off. We can’t think like newspaper people anymore.

We have to have the open minds of entrepreneurs. We have to have the innovative imaginations of liberated explorers. We have to embrace risk like bungee jumpers. We have to listen to young people as if they are our saviors, because they probably are.

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  • Anonymous

    Failing
    to communicate on the first try ,I will try one me time . Most
    journalists cannot see weaknesses in our story form because they
    have never had a story written about them . The biggest complaints
    about our craft are also the most consistent over time.

    It is
    said over and over again that we “misquote” and “ take out of
    context” . In the age of newspapers using video it is noted the
    nervousness of some reporters about the accuracy of their own
    written notes . The reason a person says something is just as
    important as what words they choose . People with creative language
    or non standard quotes are often misunderstood , or made easy prey
    for a story written , but conceived earlier at a morning meeting.
    Context is edited or preconceived without the subjects knowledge . An
    agenda is in play . People say the reporter will write what they want
    . This is very obvious in sports writing , the reporter is signalling
    to the athlete the answer they want to hear through the question.

    The
    fallowing is an experiment in the form taken to extreme but lets you
    know what the readers see.

    ———————————————————————————————————

    The
    truth about web journalism – the stories with no measurable value,
    disposable , technologically built and rebuilt ,flop-pied , coaxial
    ,hard driven , digitized ,cd’ed ,dvd’ed , jpeg’ed rebooted and booted
    again , 2 point zeroed , 3G’ed ,4g’ed ,wi fi’ed ,connected ,
    unplugged ,emailed , Gmailed ,texted , twittered and tweeted .
    Constantly changing , self upgrading ,never improving just morphing
    into something else before anyone notices .Faster and faster but
    never fast enough. Thinner , wider , sharper , faster and faster .
    Legions of followers going into the darkness . Digital capitalism.
    Always different ,always one more megapixel , more DPI. Always more
    . Your pay is our Pal or free like the crack they give to kids.

    The sad
    workforce that adapted to everything that was thrown at it for the
    last 25 years just want to stay one place for a while – the
    mainstream dragons have all been slain , equality reached , fairness
    found , nothing left to defeat. Smart people using bad science to get
    through the next few years .

    Poor
    newspapers .

    Would
    you trust people with 4 years to retirement to save an entire
    business.

    No one
    is really noticing , they just hear the beep , feel the vibration .
    They stop ,frozen in time, staring into their navels , tablets and
    smart phones .Alice’s looking glass collides with 4G , washing
    away sedentary media leaving a lump of blind , crippled ,insulin
    dependant ,earbuds and thumb tremors , the adolescent next
    generation .

    So we
    time ourselves , what else can we do. The web , a writing rodeo.
    There is nothing left but speed .Writing , timed and trite ,
    immediate , limited, somewhat accurate , inscribed on a point of a
    pin ,for all time . Six seconds , 10 words ,good ride cowboy. Easy
    stuff , write and release , correct or not correct . Just blast it
    out . It beats knocking on doors , dripping from rain and smelling
    of smoke from the last unfortunate press released person .Mishap ,
    misadventure , mesmerizing . Junk journalism , or just junk food for
    the DULLEST GENERATION.

    The
    one god , Christians, Jews and Muslims agree on is replaced by
    Google. All knowing all powerful.

    The
    next one , the soul mate turns into a 70 year old off shore child
    molester , pornographer, billionaire with means to make you
    disappear. Intelligence agencies , archaist and political parties
    finding the medium they have always been comfortable in . Anonymous
    ,influential and connected to a willing reclining demographic with
    tequila shots .A generation that has not known fear or paid in full
    or left their parents basements .

    The
    worst ever , the 7.62 mm culture waits ,to steal e-mail , blind
    satellites and turn off the power .

    We the
    media, sell fear, and are still so dam good at it. Have a nice day.

    Boss ,
    I also have this ten inch story of the cat show with photo and
    video. The same cat won the thing threeee years in a row , OMG.

    … cut
    back to reality , fiction is more fun than reality , but “future
    fear” is way more fun than all of it. We scare the crap out of
    people with our negativity , bad , sad news delivered everyday , all
    day long. Many people are afraid to read or see the news these days
    .

    Where
    do we start . The big heads in the newspaper business have their work
    cut out for them , seriously go with the cat story. Lets see the
    photo.

    Most
    people who participate in social media would not recognize this
    characterization. The “news angle” has everything to do
    with a potential news story using fragments of information , code or
    buzz words . Health concerns regarding , youth obesity , the rise of
    diabetes , lack of exercise in our culture due to excessive internet
    use , plus a concern for the potential of terrorist threats could
    generate a news story at an editors whim.

    It
    is all fair game , except the readers see a characterization for
    social media they do not recognize.They simply dismiss the idea of
    it.

    Just
    like the characterization of their city they live in everyday by news
    media. They just don’t see the same things in real life we choose to
    focus on.They just choose to write off that part of town . Of course
    the media view is extreme ,we deal in the firsts , the last , the
    biggest the smallest , and scary and scarier . We need to understand
    that in many cases media and “future fear” have excessive
    fearful effect on readers. We have called wolf so many times we are
    being ignored or just not considered credible in this area to our
    readers . ( h1N1) Many people are truly afraid of what they might
    seen in our product.

    There
    are lots of dragons to slay , this characterization is based over
    25-30 years when equality applied to some and not others . Today we
    believe equality and entitlements are not to be abused .WE don’t
    need a happy ending , just and intelligent approach. We need to find
    new challenges and we need to start with new story formulas . The
    “hero” is one i would try to redefine.Cancer fighting needs
    a new narrative . People just want to live a better life , and IDEAS
    should be the basis of a new section running everyday.

    No
    poll , or health survey or any newsworthy study should be released
    without disclosing who funded it and how many people were involved
    and the length of the study. Readers need to recognize that we are
    least trying to inform and not just trying to get their attention.Let
    readers decide if they should be concerned . We need to trust our
    readers and let them come to conclusions .

    Would
    I trust the saving of our business to people within four years of
    retirement . Yes I would . I am four years away myself , but there is
    a feeling that we cannot improve out product . You have to know how
    far we have fallen .The new generation will have to shape what is to
    come. The things we do everyday have to be looked at from our readers
    point of view , not what is easy for newspapers.

    It
    is our business to think critically about everything in the world ,
    but not how our business works.We have blind spots . Readers do not
    get blind spots .

    The
    newspaper business has been cost cutting for over 25 years , and
    readership has also been dropping . Modern recessions are part of
    the problem . People have been downsized and restructures (1980′s
    language) due to job losses from Free Trade and Globalization . We
    have written about many companies and livelihoods that have simply
    disappeared . Are ee are next? The internet isn’t killing us , it is our
    lack of vision.

    Our
    business has been known for quirky management , we have been cutting
    back the product for over two decades. We have given the customer
    less and less every year. It is only natural that customers are
    leaving us.

    Newsroom
    systems are archaic and yet they try to manage new media .The
    business is resistant to change , our presses get old and we have
    them too long.This causes our thinking to be traditional , resisting
    the modern world that changes every 30 years when one generation
    takes over comply from another . Some companies just don’t notice .
    Our readers have been telling us for a long time our product needs
    fundamental change . The car companies are retooling we need to also
    .

    Our
    business was dismissive of cultural change during the 1960 ‘s and
    early 70′s regarding , a world wide peace movement , feminism , the
    music / cultural revolution. Thirty years later we have been
    dismissive of the cultural change regarding the environment and the
    internet information highway. “Bra burners” and “tree
    huggers” have an erie and similar ring.The timing is right.

    Our
    core readership is said to be the old. If that were the case our
    circulation should be at a historical high.

    We
    have been chasing Baby Boom dollars to the last boomer standing and
    not developed younger audience and they have moved on without us.

    The
    new technology of the machine gun ended 5000 years of horse Cavalry
    history . Even though every country had machine guns , only one
    country abandoned the horse and embraced new technology . The age of
    battleships ended when the old technology of the big ship merged with
    the new technology of the aircraft , creating the aircraft carrier.
    The conservative “blue water ” battleship navy disappeared
    in a Pearl Harbour moment .

    The
    cost cutting of the black Ford Model T to speed up assembly and
    make the car cheaper to build lost market share and created
    opportunities for other car companies. Customers just wanted a red
    car .

    Can
    we change , YES We Can . We own local , our newsrooms are still big
    enough. We just need to change our thinking , question everything ,
    merge old paper thinking with new technology like the airplane and
    the big ship. Ford didn ‘t disappear , just the Model T. There was
    even one last successful horse Calvary charge in WW2.It later
    morphed into helicopter warfare.

    Ken
    Gigliotti

  • Anonymous

    Mihir is onto something many people are thinking. More Revolution , I have been at for 30 years  and it still makes me crazy .The internet didn’t start the decline .
    The truth about  businesses is that every 30- 35 years , one generation takes over completely from another .I think most people  who start work as a  newspaper reporter  get the sense that there is something odd about this  business .

      Unlike many companies its main parts don’t seem to fit. The main parts  seem to work against each other ,

    Advertising and editorial are both at odds . The success of one meant the decline of the other. Unity of purpose seems impossible , and unadvisable . I don’t think Apple or Microsoft work that way. Yet we are still standing .

    Our history is clouded  in a boozy haze and  hard core  characters .  And the paper still comes out.

    The newsrooms are managed by a system that  hasn’t changed  in 80 years  , and now that it is trying to manage  21st Century new media  it seems a little out of sorts .Out of sorts, REALLY ?

      It wasn’t that long ago that an editor gave the reporter a story idea , an angle to  write and a bus ticket to get there .Except for the bus ticket little has changed. Yet bus tickets are becoming very green.

      Until the online product ,most newspapers haven’t put out a new product in 25 years  when they expanded into the Sunday edition. A godless media and we are being punished , and yet we still stand. 

       Print has  never  understand the visual and new media is visual. That could be a problem. 

      Reporters become editors , then managers , then publishers , the DNA for change is very narrow.

      CEO publishers have faired worse. We are best managed by crisis , lots of hand wringing , and anxiety . 

      We sell future fear and business is good.Yet people really want more . They are full of fear , they feat the food they eat , the water they drink , the cars they drive , the air they breath .All because  we said so . Your welcome .

      We were fooled by Haley’s Comet ,Y2K, and George Bush .The stock market always goes up  and people who manage in good times are heroes and in  recessions not so much.

    Our media is press bound and locked  to limitations for  their  life span of 30 years . And we endure.

      The biggest threat to reporters is repetition , anxiety , caffeine and booze. . Our media drive people from the field and newspapers continually loose its best people . Big deal, Thats how we all got a job. 

     We love demographics but have no business excluding anyone. 

    The only demographics that matter are , men and women between the ages of 12 and 90 count along with a subset called children.

     We love formats that don’t change , and that is  sure  formula for innovation. Ya don’t change a thing .

     High turn over ensures the business never matures . So nan , nan nah. 

     Our challenge  is to  change the paradigm , create sustainability , fight repetition .Will never happen .

      The Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffet would buy a newspaper company at any price. 

     Our core is journalism and that can only be done with boots on the ground . The web needs constant up date ,and  that means more boots on the ground . Newspaper people are agile , this is our strength. The power of one , moving .

     Readers  love us because  we made someone look good , someone look strong ,  some guilty , some heroic or  made someone look smart . They love us because  we try to inform , because we don’t  try to get it all wrong . 

      They love when we get it all right, because it brings   repercussions , or uncovered some evidence, or simply recorded the scene and that helped them understand what happened when their loved one crashed . 

      They love us because as a profession we stumble across  disturbing seemingly isolated occurrences that turn into trends that will  be noticed by the public and  forced to be fixed by the manufacturer who already knew there was a problem . 

     They love us because we got THAT moment absolutely  right , because we do things that help , we do things that let other people help , they love us because we cause things to change for the better . 

      They love us because the poor and powerless sometimes get their say or because we love to go to war , but we never stick with it . 

      They love us because  they can laugh at themselves through our stories . They love us because we are the only media that will routinely publish corrections  when we are wrong.

      They love us because sometimes we  cut through all the crap and reveal something that is true or unexpected.  

      They love us because we take them to places they can’t go but always wondered about . 

      Sometimes the people who hate us the most ,  look good in the paper because we really are unbiased , or we are  just  flawed by a personality defect or just couldn’t remember them  after 20  minutes .  They love us because of the stories , and we really do have something to say ,  and they love us because we get to push the button and say the things with our cameras  and our pens they always wished to. 

      They love us because we do more good than harm and the history is what we record , the way we record it .

      They love us   because newspapers   are the heart and soul of media . 

      Print lasts , we say something about a time that would be other wise lost. 

      We are  a straight line from the “thing” to the paper  to  our  readers  .   Regardless how they feel about us  , the straight line has to be respected . Everything we do no matter how negative  or painful , or  damming , it seems to be at the moment , eventually it  leads to a positive result . Laws get changed , building codes change , procedures change , people change . 

      We have to know when we are working that sometimes people hate us , and sometimes they have good reasons . We have to respect that and still be able to do our job. Knowing these things will make us a better journalists   when it counts , and keep us honest without baggage  and  to never stray far from  where we started . We just see and report  .( adapted from  THey Accommodate Us a presentation for photographers) – ken gigliotti

  • Anonymous

    Mihir is onto something many people are thinking. More Revolution , I have been at for 30 years  and it still makes me crazy .The internet didn’t start the decline .
    The truth about  businesses is that every 30- 35 years , one generation takes over completely from another .I think most people  who start work as a  newspaper reporter  get the sense that there is something odd about this  business .

      Unlike many companies its main parts don’t seem to fit. The main parts  seem to work against each other ,

    Advertising and editorial are both at odds . The success of one meant the decline of the other. Unity of purpose seems impossible , and unadvisable . I don’t think Apple or Microsoft work that way. Yet we are still standing .

    Our history is clouded  in a boozy haze and  hard core  characters .  And the paper still comes out.

    The newsrooms are managed by a system that  hasn’t changed  in 80 years  , and now that it is trying to manage  21st Century new media  it seems a little out of sorts .Out of sorts, REALLY ?

      It wasn’t that long ago that an editor gave the reporter a story idea , an angle to  write and a bus ticket to get there .Except for the bus ticket little has changed. Yet bus tickets are becoming very green.

      Until the online product ,most newspapers haven’t put out a new product in 25 years  when they expanded into the Sunday edition. A godless media and we are being punished , and yet we still stand. 

       Print has  never  understand the visual and new media is visual. That could be a problem. 

      Reporters become editors , then managers , then publishers , the DNA for change is very narrow.

      CEO publishers have faired worse. We are best managed by crisis , lots of hand wringing , and anxiety . 

      We sell future fear and business is good.Yet people really want more . They are full of fear , they feat the food they eat , the water they drink , the cars they drive , the air they breath .All because  we said so . Your welcome .

      We were fooled by Haley’s Comet ,Y2K, and George Bush .The stock market always goes up  and people who manage in good times are heroes and in  recessions not so much.

    Our media is press bound and locked  to limitations for  their  life span of 30 years . And we endure.

      The biggest threat to reporters is repetition , anxiety , caffeine and booze. . Our media drive people from the field and newspapers continually loose its best people . Big deal, Thats how we all got a job. 

     We love demographics but have no business excluding anyone. 

    The only demographics that matter are , men and women between the ages of 12 and 90 count along with a subset called children.

     We love formats that don’t change , and that is  sure  formula for innovation. Ya don’t change a thing .

     High turn over ensures the business never matures . So nan , nan nah. 

     Our challenge  is to  change the paradigm , create sustainability , fight repetition .Will never happen .

      The Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffet would buy a newspaper company at any price. 

     Our core is journalism and that can only be done with boots on the ground . The web needs constant up date ,and  that means more boots on the ground . Newspaper people are agile , this is our strength. The power of one , moving .

     Readers  love us because  we made someone look good , someone look strong ,  some guilty , some heroic or  made someone look smart . They love us because  we try to inform , because we don’t  try to get it all wrong . 

      They love when we get it all right, because it brings   repercussions , or uncovered some evidence, or simply recorded the scene and that helped them understand what happened when their loved one crashed . 

      They love us because as a profession we stumble across  disturbing seemingly isolated occurrences that turn into trends that will  be noticed by the public and  forced to be fixed by the manufacturer who already knew there was a problem . 

     They love us because we got THAT moment absolutely  right , because we do things that help , we do things that let other people help , they love us because we cause things to change for the better . 

      They love us because the poor and powerless sometimes get their say or because we love to go to war , but we never stick with it . 

      They love us because  they can laugh at themselves through our stories . They love us because we are the only media that will routinely publish corrections  when we are wrong.

      They love us because sometimes we  cut through all the crap and reveal something that is true or unexpected.  

      They love us because we take them to places they can’t go but always wondered about . 

      Sometimes the people who hate us the most ,  look good in the paper because we really are unbiased , or we are  just  flawed by a personality defect or just couldn’t remember them  after 20  minutes .  They love us because of the stories , and we really do have something to say ,  and they love us because we get to push the button and say the things with our cameras  and our pens they always wished to. 

      They love us because we do more good than harm and the history is what we record , the way we record it .

      They love us   because newspapers   are the heart and soul of media . 

      Print lasts , we say something about a time that would be other wise lost. 

      We are  a straight line from the “thing” to the paper  to  our  readers  .   Regardless how they feel about us  , the straight line has to be respected . Everything we do no matter how negative  or painful , or  damming , it seems to be at the moment , eventually it  leads to a positive result . Laws get changed , building codes change , procedures change , people change . 

      We have to know when we are working that sometimes people hate us , and sometimes they have good reasons . We have to respect that and still be able to do our job. Knowing these things will make us a better journalists   when it counts , and keep us honest without baggage  and  to never stray far from  where we started . We just see and report  .( adapted from  THey Accommodate Us a presentation for photographers) – ken gigliotti

  • Anonymous

    Good comments 

    Try Scotch – it seems that journalists ,( reporters of the past ) seemed to be more in touch with their readers hanging out in  bars and park benches drinking than the people in our trade are now when it comes to writing.  

    When were newspapers great , not in 50′s , 60′s , they totally missed the significance of the world wide peace movement , the rise of feminism , music revolution and  sexual revolutions . It seem advertisers didn’t like controversial  content . Even the civil rights abuses held on much too long  for any  fair minded people in fair and free  society .  

     Journalism was so bad in the 1970′s and 80′s in Canada  , two  government committees were called to investigate the business .

      Newspapers simply made too much money and it didn’t matter how they were managed . Now it matters . I am not sure if we really ever knew how to sell a newspaper , people just bought them . That “golden egg” just dropped on the boardroom table very day till 1986 . It seems we have been cost cutting to maintain profit ever since. The false positive of quarterly profit  has left us with over 100 quarters  of dropping circulation and advertising income. This started long before the internet was a factor. 

      Newspapers held on to 19th century  letter presses almost to the start of the 21st century . Newspaper boxes are a prime  example of a global business that  simply did not evolve , totally missing the vending machine revolution of the 90′s. When  buying a Coke ,you only get the one you pay for. Newspaper boxes should serve coffee and show news , lifestyle videos. 

      The evolution of the” language”  newspapers  speak have left us without an audience.  We are a job for communication specialists  in business and  politics. 

      We have two stories , the one we put in the paper and the “other” one we tell each other. Bloggers are telling those “other” stories . 

       Can the newspaper business evolve , YES IT CAN , will it ,NO it will not .It doesn’t hurt bad enough for fundamental change. 

      DO people want news ?, yes. But what else do they want ?  They want what they always wanted ,they want SURPRISES , good writing , local , national and international. Stories told make papers sold . 

      We need writers from different places , immigration has been the biggest change in our culture and we have not kept up. 

      Instead of producing miles of safe , easy copy to fill pages ,  chasing what everyone else is casing , and jumping on and off band wagons we need original stories. We need to see and feel  what our readers see .Joblessness , poverty  are the civil right stories of today .

       Tell stories in order , no sections , the final “A” section should be everything that happens after 6 o’clock , this is the true reflect of any community .

      We need to not only inform but also enrich  the lives of our readers . We should be  creating products that reflect the true nature of our communities . The online product should be the “daily paper” and the appear should be the “magazine ” and sold  for fair value and not given away .

    We need a better word for what we do that “content” . Ken Gigliotti 

  • http://twitter.com/amikegreen2 Mike Green

    I recall sitting in a small newsroom owned by Dow Jones making the point in a debate with other editors that the disruption of the media business model has been ongoing for a while. New technology has accelerated the disruption. But I believe that by and large media companies forgot or simply abandoned our constitutional commission and duty to empower the public. Engaging the public with a servant mindset may have saved us form falling behind the technology curve. Perhaps we may have perceived the blogosphere differently. Perhaps we may have welcomed an opportunity to engage the public with transparency, as partners in the flow of information. 

    Perhaps media may have recognized the fledgling social media platforms as investment opportunities that would empower the public to fully participate in the mass communications process. Perhaps media might have owned those platforms upon which the members of the community were free to engage with one another on a platform owned by media. Perhaps the various social media platforms media use today, like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn could’ve been owned by media companies. 

    And the benefit? Faster growth of digital revenues to offset the incredibly shrinking print advertising model that was built upon a platform of expensive print production and circulation processes. Perhaps that might’ve save tens of thousands of newsroom jobs … and preserved much of the quality of journalism overall.

    Unfortunately, the embedded fear of evolving business models has paralyzed much of the industry. Even with new platforms upon which to operate, the vast majority of media executives remain locked behind conference room doors wringing their hands and wondering how best to stop the hemorrhaging. The answer to that question isn’t in that room. And the question itself is the wrong one being asked.

    I fear the business of media will get worse before it gets better. Perhaps the disruption is a welcome changing of the old guard?

  • Anonymous

    The excerpt from Tim McGuire reads like some over-caffeinated corporate-speak “motivation” speaker. Lots of platitude and attitude but not real substance. Maybe he should have a few Red Ales and give Mihir a call. Mihir..inebriated or not… basically defined what Murdoch’s News Corp media empire does in the extreme with its rightwing, faux populist, unabashed propaganda machine. Would that newspapers, particularly the smaller local or regional newspapers would do what Mihir suggests and extend that approach into whatever distribution/audience channels they own. No matter is they were “left”, right or “center”, they’d be doing more than reprinting/reposting AP’s conservative newswire content. That’s how you build a “brand” whether as company or an individual. Mass communication in its traditional form such as newspapers are being reduced both as businesses and in relevance (TV networks are ebbing fast as well). With fewer and fewer exceptions, actual journalism has left most local and regional news outlooks be they TV, radio or newspaper. 

  • http://twitter.com/westseattleblog West Seattle Blog

    To some degree, of course. This is how we got drafted into the news business (which had been my profession for 20-plus years in “old” media but hadn’t till a certain point in late 2006 been something I was doing on a personally owned website). However, I do disagree with “we need to hold public meetings.” No. Here is what you need to do (what we have been doing for four-plus years now). You need to go where the people are, not ask them to come to you. And these days, that primarily means being open and accessible ON YOUR OWN WEB SITE – is your staff participating in comment discussions, or even ALLOWED to? it’s shocking how many are not, oh, and do you have comment rules? that’s the problem, NOT anonymity – have rules and enforce them … also in social media (same drill – are your journalists participating on your Facebook page, your Twitter accounts, or at least via their own?). And cover places where people already gather. Community meetings and events are where you will find them and they will find you. Don’t say “Hi, come to us.” THEY are already OUT THERE and waiting for YOU to come to THEM. And when you are there with them, you will hear what matters to them, what they are dying to have somebody investigate/report on/publicize. That’s where the story ideas come from, not from sitting around the table in the newsroom every morning (BTDT, for decades). Last word … innovation does not mean technology whizbang. Technology is just a better way of doing all of the above, but only use it as far as your readers can use it – they just want “the news.” And they want it now. – Tracy @ WSB

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=628233825 Trevor Butterworth

    Drink, and be open with the public? Christopher Hitchens’ avocation with Jay Rosen’s advocacy.