An old school journalist does new media

CPC video

As I mentioned in my previous post about heading off to Computex with a bag weighed down with AV kit, at work, we’re really pushing on with expanding what we, technically a bunch of magazine journalists, do. When I joined, close to four years ago, I wrote articles for a magazine. In the past year, this has been expanded to include podcasting, shooting photos for web and magazine stories, and now, shooting video! Footage from the Computex trade show of some overclocking with liquid nitrogen is very neatly embedded in this news story here.

There are many decent blogs on the web that deal with the way journalism is changing: I’ve got RSS subscriptions to the fabulous Journerdism, Invisible Inkling, Publishing 2.0 and Wordblog to name just a few. It helps me keep up with what’s going on, and gives me a lot of valuable stuff to think about in terms of how my career field is changing. These sites are great and tend to avoid the position about journalism that is extremely common around the web: the assumption that pretty much anyone who writes for a print product doesn’t get the web, and doesn’t want to.

Now, this is probably true for some journalists, but most of the journalists I know can’t wait to get their hands on video recorders, cameras and decent CMS systems. I think the reason the opinion that journos hate the web is so widely held is that it appears to be true on a much wider scale, because so few major print brands have good websites. It’s a quick judgement, but an easy one to simply say – bad website = people who don’t care about the web.

However, it’s usually not the journalists – the writers – who make these websites. And being a blogger, when you want to change something, you just log in, and apply a different theme, or add a widget, or write a post. It’s great. I know, I love TypePad for that.

Can’t do it at work so easily, though – print brands (like Custom PC) are owned by large companies, large, multi-department companies that devolve control of stuff to many different teams, and when it comes to something new like the web, the structure is not all that well defined, especially in terms of who does what.

Dennis, where I work, has spent the last year trying to improve how the existing teams on the print and web side can mesh together. We are getting there, I think. For instance, my job title has just changed, so that I now have a role description that budgets 50% of my time for print stuff, and 50% for web stuff – before, if I wanted to work on web projects (like, say, the podcast), I had to find the time while doing a job that had no time allocated for non-magazine work. I still did it though, becuase I really thought it would be fun and great for us to do a podcast. Rex Sorgatz puts it perfectly in this interview:

“Big Media Is Hard. Epitaph or bumper sticker? I’m not sure, but it’s so true. Building
small little sites is so rewarding because you can build an entire new
universe in a month. But getting a big media company to change
directions is ridiculously frustrating. Big media is hard! But big
media is also influential, interesting, powerful, gargantuan,
mysterious — in a word, exciting. So my little dream right now is to
create a “small media mentality” within “big media company.”

I’m with him on both sides; that it’s hard to change, but when it does change, the opportunities are massive. The truly new CPC site is coming and it will be great, I think. I hope.

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