Saturday, February 11, 2012

Meeting the future of journalism

I meet some really fascinating people in my life as a journalist. They're folks who know what stories need to be told, how they need to be told, and how the results will touch the people who read, hear, view or experience the final result. As I've grown my own career in the space, I've counted myself lucky to cross their paths, as I never fail to learn something from them every time I do.

I was privileged to meet CKCO/CTV Kitchener's Matthew Kang last week over tea to discuss a project, RE4MAT, he's currently building. I do lots of interviews, but rarely do I get to chat with other journalists about the future of the profession, and ways up-and-coming members of the profession can help steer us all toward a brighter future. I got to have that discussion with Matt, and I'm glad I did, because he's up to something that bears watching.

I've long believed that technology, which over the past couple of decades has largely rewritten the rules by which news is gathered, built, distributed and paid for, is more a force for good than anything else. As much as it's apparently damaged so many news organizations - with newspaper advertising in freefall, television stations pulling back broadcast hours and radio networks consolidating themselves into centralized shadows of their formerly-local selves - it's also opened up incredible new opportunities for those willing to open their eyes.

Matt's eyes are wide open, and it was refreshing to shoot the breeze with him on what works, and what could work better if we join forces to influence the right kind of change. He interviewed me for a longer-form piece he's just published online. The company being profiled is an innovative Waterloo region company called BufferBox, and I'm sure he's got a lot more compelling stories in the pipeline. For now, I hope you'll do two things:
  1. Watch the video (link here), as it's a refreshingly innovative way of covering a refreshingly innovative startup. Also add his Re4MAT Tumblr page to your radar, as more is on the way.
  2. Please share a comment below on how initiatives like Matt's make you feel about the future of journalism in the Internet Age.
I'm virtually certain I'll be having more discussions with Matt on where this profession's going, and I'm equally certain I'll come away then, as I did this time, feeling like I'd learned something in the process. As I headed home that night, I couldn't help but think that our profession's future was in pretty good hands.

Your turn: Thoughts?

1 comment:

Mike said...

Great post, Carmi! The internet has definitely changed the profession and it's encouraging to see leaders like Matt redefining the future. I believe initiatives such as Matt's are going to become increasing valuable as more and more people turn to platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. to get their news. Perhaps news outlets will begin to use stories such as these as material for their own new hours. Current analytics on the web would actually allow them to determine what people want to see (based on YouTube views for example, or retweets, likes, etc.) before they go on air.

Thanks for your comments on our business in Matt's story - I'm one of the founders of BufferBox.

All the best,