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Static stories and news conversations

'I think we need a new journalistic method. It's not the finished articles with a beginning, middle and end that are interesting to comment on.'

The words belong to Paal Hivand, who during a forum for online journalism I launched for Journalisten last week (link in Norwegian), argued that we have to move towards a more dialogue-based presentation form, and come to accept that the new media reality demands we let go of control, dare to be open, dare to share...

So speaks a journalist turned blogger and social media geek. I've kept meaning to come back to my conversation with Paal, as well as this post by Adam on how static stories need to give way to live news. Their arguments are slightly different, I know, but I think the next stage we should (have been) discuss(ing) is how media can better utilize the social web , and these two arguments touch on different aspects of this. Lots more to say here, but keep running out of time, and wanted to jot it down so at least to remind myself. Here's Adam on finished and live news:

The next mindshift change journalists need to go through is that they no longer have a finished product. The issue is never complete. The feature is never done. The news is always evolving. And this is hard for us old-school hacks. If you were to ask a group of people what words they associate with journalism, I'd lay odds that "deadline" would be in there somewhere. But we're moving into a post-deadline age, when the publishing time is now, and then as soon as you have new information. Or a new conversation. Or a new contribution.

The web is providing us with the tools to move away from static "finished" story pages to ones that evolve and change with the news. And we need to work out how to adapt our journalistic processes with it.


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