from Jeff Jarvis buzzmachine: The article as luxury or byproduct
The bigger question all this raises is when and whether we need articles. Oh, we still do. Articles can make it easy to catch up on a complex story; they make for easier reading than a string of disjointed facts; they pull together strands of a story and add perspective. Articles are wonderful. But they are no longer necessary for every event. They were a necessary form for newspapers and news shows but not the free flow, the never-starting, never-ending stream of digital. Sometimes, a quick update is sufficient; other times a collection of videos can do the trick. Other times, articles are good.
Jeff goes on to ask, “Can we agree to a new accepted wisdom: that the most precious resource in news is reporting and so maximizing the acquisition of facts and answers is what we need?”
- An article can be a byproduct of the process.
- The process is the goal of the process: keeping the public constantly informed.
- When a story is complex and has been growing and changing, it is a great service to tie that into a cogent and concise narrative [by writing an article.]
- Is writing articles the best use of scarce reporting resources?
- if someone else has written a good article (or background wiki) link don’t write
- Add reporting, fill in missing facts, correct mistakes, add perspectives, don’t rewrite.
- “Now we should write articles when necessary.”
- New structure changes the skills and the character of the journalist.
- Now journalists need a a passion to report, to dig up facts, to serve and inform the community through collaboration with that community.
: Seconds after I posted this to Twitter, Chad Catacchio said that by the time the article is written, its’ not news, it’s history (albeit the fabled first draft).