Thursday, June 22, 2006

Crossmedia journalism (2)

Keynote "What is the essence of crossmedia?"

Contrary to conference conventions was the keynote at the end of the day. And it was quite a forceful presentation searching for the meaning of crossmedia and journalism. The media researcher Jaap Stronks (left, with glasses) did not mince many words on the conventional definitions. Usually these definitions run like: “The presentations of a news story package, using two or more media” or “The integrated (although not necessary simultaneous) presentation of a news story package through different media”.

However these definitions operate under the wrong assumptions such as re-purposing content and produce once and create many times. Usually these concepts are introduced to save money rather than to create synergy. These concepts were usually behind many a merger in the late nineties, but also at present. The merger between AOL and Time Warner never really worked. Presently the shareholders of the US media group Tribune are clamouring about the lack of synergy. But they do not realise that synergy is dead. Media have their own speed and grammer.

This type of mergers are based on an ambivalent innovation culture according to Boczkowki. On the one hand there is a full embracing of internet without realising that this is contrary to the journalistic core values of completeness, correctness, newsworthyness and the journalistic language (newspeak). Newspaper language is 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. Internet and other media need other languages, other tones of voice and other forms of relaiability.

So crossmedia is not just re-purposing, but learning to tell a story in languages, tones of voices and forms of relaiability, appropriate to the media. On internet journalism will have to develop a system of relaiability, comparable to the Wiki encyclopedia method and eBay. The system can consist of recommendations, links and polls. In this way new quality hallmarks are being built.

(For those who read Dutch: please go to the blog of Jaap Stronks, where he paraphrases his keynote address of yesterday)

Tags: crossmedia,

Blog Posting Number: 417

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