Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Crossmedia Journalism (1)


Yesterday I attended a conference on Crossmedia Journalism at the Journalism department of the HU college in Utrecht. Almost 100 journalists, consultants, lecturers and students were present.

In his introduction Mr Han Smits, the director of the school, mentioned that the School for Journalism will celebrate its 40 years jubilee this year. The School does not only have the task of teaching, but also of knowledge generation. He was happy to announce that the School will get 4 extra lecturers plus staff next years as well as a laboratory for journalism.

Introducing the subject of the conference he observed that there is a decline of mono media, as people can access newspapers, radio and television and internet. People are also looking for personal information and easily join small communities. As they can download and upload, active consumers can contribute to the discussion with their own texts, photographs and movies. Smits implied that there is a relationship between crossmedia and citizens’ journalism. For journalism it means a new round and new chances.

The program had a variety of representatives from the media: Bob Witman of the national newspaper Volkskrant, Michiel Bicker Caarten of BNR Newsradio, Bart Brouwer of the freesheet Spits, Bernadette Slotboom of the Public Broadcast System and Bart van Ootmerssum of the regional newspaper AD. In the afternoon Paul Molenaar of the online publisher, an alumni of the School of Journalism, was followed by Peter Verweij, a lecturer New Media at the School. The day was closed with the keynote of Jaap Stronks, a media researcher.

My general impression of the speakers was that newspapers use internet as extensions (multiple channels); that journalism does not cooperate with advertisement for crossmedia projects. It is clear that traditional organisations have problems of acquiring and integrating crossmedia in their organisations and their business models. I will report more on the conference. In fact I will produce another five postings on it, starting with the keynote, as Jaap Stronks called for a re-orientation on crossmedia.

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Blog Posting Number: 416

1 comment:

Jaap said...

I thought it was fun and interesting. Although I forgot to explain a few of my statements, in particular the one about newspaper language being strictly tied to pre-internet forms of communication: the main reason why newspaper language is so neutral and impersonal is the fact that in a market without much differentiation or competition, you have to develop a tone of voice that does not offend too many people. I read a research study of the many (up to 15 or so) newspapers that were published in the city of Boston back in 1850 or so. They were passionately written and highly opiniated - they read like blogs. Isn't that remarkable?