Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New media laid bare

A departure here from the usual Democratic events. This post is from a lunch program I attended May 2 with the International Press Club in Miami on the new media. There were two speakers, and sometimes they had the audience gasping with surprise at how the world of journalism and communications has changed – and it ain’t standing still.


· Rick Hirsch, new media editor of the Miami Herald

· Allen Richards, head of department of journalism and mass communications at Florida International University

Notes from Rick Hirsch: The Herald now is so multi-media that it does 18 news broadcasts each weekday. Print output is slipping.

A handful of people with internet skills can compete with a newspaper with a $140 million printing plant.

The Herald had about 15% annual growth in internet usage until growth flattened recently. Now the paper has to do more to earn online growth with:

  • Video online. All photography staff is now trained to do video, too
  • Links to other media. A Herald story now may include a link to the Sun-Sentinel’s version of same event.
  • Herald will have a video channel on its website soon. Now has daily video features
  • No filter for public comment on Herald website. This horrifies old hands in the newsroom (Gasps from some in audience – How do you keep this family-friendly?)
  • Be open to citizen journalism. Hirsch said the recent release of DOJ emails was an example. The NY Times and Washington Post put of a flood of the emails on their websites, and then some of the resulting stories came from readers who read the emails and made the damning connections.

Notes from Allan Richards. He was told to start teaching online journalism at FIU in 2002 when there wasn’t a website for the students to practice on, so they dummied one up with Powerpoint.

Later he had to do a course on blogging when he didn’t have a clue how. Students asked how; his answer was “Google is also a verb.” They figured it out.

Kids are so far ahead on digital stuff. His example was when he was asked for a photo of himself to illustrate a column, and his 9-year-old daughter took it and loaded it into the computer to be sent off.

Best website for exploring online communications:, the Online Journalism Review of the Annenberg School at U. of Southern California.

There was much more, but hey, got to go protest the Veto. Later …

1 comment:

Michael Calderin said...


I'm glad to see you were able to attend. Please let me know when their next event is. Hopefully it won't be on top of a deadline.