21. How to deal with bi-media

In traditional medias, the web has often been looked down upon as a constraint, sometimes even a parasite that was going to cannibalize a loyal audience. Such prejudice has become obsolete. But you’ll still need to manage the trading dynamics with the Internet.

Complementarities of the Internet

When you get a piece of news, should you put it online straight away or keep it for your traditional media ? No traditional newsroom escapes from such a dilemma that finds various answers, according to the context. Actually, because of this issue, journalists need to truly think about the complementary relationship between medias. All of this in an environment where the differences between websites related to TV channels, radio stations or newspapers are slowly disappearing.

Though there is no closing time on the Internet, updates can be timed to ensure better news broadcasting. This phenomenon – the buzz – must be understood, because it’s at the heart of the workings of the Internet and of social network, of their viral strength. Indeed, news put online late at night will provide for other media in the morning. Breaking news on the Internet doesn’t kill the interest in broadcasting it elsewhere. On the contrary, the bigger the number of people reading the story is, the bigger the audience of the media bringing it is.

To forget about the web=cannibal prejudice, you need to think of the internet as a new news circuit that allows a media to deal with every moment of a story, from the first tweet to the detailed analysis.

Content going back-and-forth

The rise of mobility tools such as smartphones and tablets hep contents go back-and-forth among the same media. A piece of news heard the morning on the radio will be enriched over the day, declined under different angles and formats, the ideal configuration being to be able to offer your readers this news chain. Newsroom therefore need to:

  • Actually produce such a news chain with polyvalent journalists
  • Broadcast those formats on all supports
  • Make the originality of its editorial treatment known on social networks

For example, a good crowd sourcing operation starts with a short call for testimonies in the newspaper, then is treated under a digital format such as an interactive map, then back on the newspaper as a detailed investigation.

Finally, reverse publishing, from the web to newspaper is still not nearly used enough by newsrooms… even though it’s a non-negligible source of contents. Just like for the video, there is room for innovation yet.