Monday, 22 June 2009

Journalists rise up and retake the newsroom ... I'll give you a banana!

Another thing that digital guru MarkMedia Comerford raises in the interview mentioned in the previous post, is about technology and the journalist.

Many journalists are forever proclaiming their own ineptitude when it comes to anything technical in the newsroom.
And that is to the detriment of journalism.

In the interview with Medie varlden, Mark says:

Journalists must understand the technology, otherwise we are transmitting power to the techies. Red Key Skills are a big problem
You bring a monkey into a room and it learns that there is a large red button and if you press it, you get a banana. If you then insert it into a warehouse full of bananas but with no red button, it will starve to death. So it is with journalists who do not understand the new technology.

The only way for journalists to regain the newsroom and regain the reigns of the rapidly evolving industry, is for them to take on the technology.

Many newsrooms are currently in the hands of the techies, or the backroom boys and girls who very often flex their technical superiority by saying, "It can't be done."

Bollocks to that.

Journalists need to now take back control away from the techies by arming themselves with a greater knowledge of the technology and what it can do for journalism.

I'm not saying we all need to become programmers or IT specialists, but I am saying understand what can and can't really be done.

Then we need to ask the question of the technical support staff: "This is what I want to do, how can you make it happen?"

Knowledge is power, and currently the power is in the wrong hands.

Now where's that red button?

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