Journalist navel-gazing, continued

Joshua Benton’s presentation before the Canadian Journalism Foundation last January, especially the last paragraph of the seventh of “Eight trends for journalism in 2011” he posited, made me sit up and take notice.

One last element about this. This is the BBC’s iPad app, if you haven’t seen it. And I think one of the brilliant elements of it is that when you launch the app, it doesn’t present you with a menu of options. It doesn’t say, “Here are 17 options, choose one.” It’s not a choose-your-own-adventure. It immediately tells you, “This is where your adventure should start.” It puts you in a story right away. You don’t to have any action, you’re immediately pushed in. And then it becomes, “How do you navigate from story to story?” Instead of going to a story, hitting the back button, going to look over the other menu of options, then going back again. The metaphor that exists on a lot of iPad apps in the news world is swiping from story to story. Which is a very similar experience to what you traditionally had in newspapers — seeing stories and being able to dive in right there.

The return of the professional journalist as gatekeeper?


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