Mathew Ingram on Journalism and Social Media

Mathew Ingram, communities editor at The Globe and Mail, just published a presentation he prepared to help reporters understand Facebook and how it can help them. Ingram says that fundamentally, Facebook helps with:

  1. Finding information and reaching out to people who might be involved in stories they are writing about
  2. Allowing fans of the Globe and Mail content to share and promote news stories and content

A good read. More information can be found in his presentation on Slideshare.

Ingram also gave a very interesting talk (the slides are here) at TEDxToronto last September titled “Five Ways New Media Will Save Old Media”. The five ways are:

  1. By enlarging the size of the media pie
  • Publishing tools are cheap and widely distributed now and more sources of media is better
  • By making media a process instead of a product
    • Real events don’t occur in time-specific packages. This was due to the limitations of the print product.
  • By making media more human
    • People look to trusted filters for information and more information means more filters are needed
    • You can’t have trust in a faceless institution except through the human beings that are part of it
    • We earn trust by being human (important not to hide mistakes)
  • By making media multi-directional
    • People may know more about that story than the journalist, you should allow them to tell you what they know
  • By giving people choice
    • The idea of mass media is over, you have to see media as a spectrum
    • You need to balance between what readers want to know and what they “should know”
    • Readers are sometimes trading accuracy vs. immediacy. Journalists should be prepared to give them different experiences of the news at those different times.
    • A print newspaper is a bundle of news. Media is being unbundled.
    • Twitter is a tool, not journalism.

    Ingram finished his presentation with this clear conclusion: “If anyone can publish, trust is the only thing news media has left, the only competitive advantage.”

    What it means: I love how Mathew Ingram thinks. His journalism and social media experience allows him to distill the essence of the impact of new media on news organizations. It’s also making me think differently about the way social media impacts directory publishing. For example,

    • How do you define trusted filters in a Yellow Pages environment? (friends, editors, experts, etc.)
    • How do you make social local search a process instead of a product? (I suspect real-time search plays a role)
    • How does a directory company stop being “faceless”?
    • How do you give people choices? (is it through aggregation?)

    Food for thought for future blog posts…

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