What if editors could be their own developers? The ability to invent our own technology with streamlined tools would certainly make our lives easier. Media executives and technology providers are pondering ways to turn the idea into reality.
At an Internet Week panel Tuesday night, sponsored by Daylife
at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, panelists discussed how editors and storytellers of the future are moving away from a purely “article-driven” story to develop new formats. Even traditional news organizations like Bloomberg are looking to hire more TV-like “producers” rather than only newspaper-focused reporters, noted Ien Cheng
, chief of staff of the Global Multimedia Group at Bloomberg.
Media pundit and professor Jeff Jarvis
questioned the assumptions journalists still bring to the table when reporting. Nowadays, content creators aren't limited to text-based articles with a beginning and an end. It's not time to declare the “death of the article,” but there are new opportunities to reinvent the article, Jarvis said. It reminds me of the notion that content curation
does not need to replace creation.
While content creators have many exciting new formats to tell stories, journalists have undeniably felt the gap in trying to develop new skills, particularly if they lack the proper technology.
, chairman and CEO of the sports blogging network SB Nation
, champions the marriage of talent and technology
. The site recently poached the Engadget
team to start a tech blog, and Bankoff said it's important for those editors to meet with the product team to help invent the technology they need — a novel concept, right?
“Too often journalists have turned elsewhere and enabled other technology entities to determine the rules of the game for them,” he said. For instance, SEO is about optimizing content for Google and the Like button is about optimizing content for Facebook. “We like it when the actual creators push us to work with those platforms … to help them do their jobs,” he said.
Technology for next-generation journalists
A set of tools announced this week from Daylife intends to give journalists more ability to work with technology without constantly running over to the development team. The Daylife Publisher Suite
is about “putting more creative freedom in the hands of editors,” said Upendra Shardanand, CEO and founder of the company, which has worked with several big publishers to provide custom curation solutions
. This new solution represents how curation tools
are becoming more automated and mainstream.
The platform, aimed at brands and publishers big and small, gives editors the ability to add content apps, such as photo galleries, breaking news modules, related headlines, and social media feeds, simply by dropping the module on the page. The content is taken from Daylife's “media cloud” that analyzes and organizes content from more than 100,000 sources around the Web. (Here is a video demo
“What we really strive to do is publish the same kind of features you see in the New York Times ― but published in a couple clicks,” Derek Gordon, Daylife's chief marketing officer, told me.
Could news tools like the Daylife suite close the gap in editorial skills scaling content? Technology could help. But before buying any new tools, just listening to what your editors need is a good first step.