Tag Archives: media convergence

Column: Does the Holy Spirit read social media?

In which I suggest, ever so gently, that two cardinals revisit their theology of the media. Published on March 26, 2013.

The retired cardinal archbishop of Manila, Gaudencio Rosales, had a ready answer when asked, upon returning from the conclave in Rome, why the media failed to predict the identity of the new pope. “God does not read social media,” he said.

That is the quote as found in Lito Zulueta’s comprehensive March 17 report in the Inquirer. On Zulueta’s Twitter account, the quote, tweeted at least a day before the newspaper came out, specifically names the third person of the Holy Trinity: “because the holy spirit does not read social media” (no caps).

The Wall Street Journal’s Southeast Asia Real Time blog remembered Rosales’ quip in the same, specific, fashion. Cris Larano’s engaging post quoted Rosales as saying: “The joke in Rome is that Pope Francis was elected because the Holy Spirit didn’t read social media … or watch CNN.”
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Column: The last of the Daily Me?

Written some three months before I got to meet the peerless Josh Benton. Published on May 17, 2011.

I first noticed it a few months ago, when I read Joshua Benton’s “Eight Trends for Journalism in 2011,” a presentation by the young director of the Nieman Journalism Lab before the Canadian Journalism Foundation in January. In the last paragraph of a longish discussion about the seventh trend (“New front pages”), Benton took time to praise the BBC’s iPad app.

“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 [have to do] 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.” Continue reading

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Entering “a new era of the Internet”

Speaking at Mashable Connect 2011, Steve Rubel proposed a third Internet era: After Commercialization (1994-2002) and Democratization (2002-2010), comes Validation (beginning, according to his non-Mayan calendar, in 2010).

With this shift in authority, Rubel proposes that as of 2010, the Internet has entered the Validation era, in which Internet users are beginning to “find the signal in the noise” and hold on to only those pieces of information and people that are most important to them online. The rise of intimate social networks such as Path, and group messaging apps such as GroupMe, Beluga, Fast Society and Kik, is an indicator that “people want to be closer to people they care about and let all the riffraff set aside,” says Rubel.

A most interesting, if rather programmatic, read.

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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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Column: SWS over Pulse Asia; Nograles vs media

Published on June 9, 2009. The feedback on Facebook (especially on MLQ’s wall) was fascinating.

I must quibble with my friend Manolo Quezon’s assertion, in his column of June 4, that “the media were caught napping by the goings-on in the House,” the night the administration coalition forced the vote on the constituent-assembly resolution. He was among those I followed online as the session neared its scripted end; some of the chatter on Facebook and Twitter that I tracked attacked the absence of traditional media at the Batasan, “except for ANC.” The Inquirer was even mentioned by name.

I was worried enough as to ask the newsroom, and immediately relayed the answer through my own Facebook update: there were at least three journalists from the Inquirer group present at the proceedings. Indeed, Inquirer.net’s Lira Dalangin-Fernandez posted a comprehensive report online a mere 10 minutes or so after the ignominious vote; the Inquirer’s Gil Cabacungan Jr. filed a report that became the next day’s banner story; photographer Niño Orbeta caught vivid images (and was himself caught on ANC). I am sure the same thing can be said for other newspapers and media organizations worth the name; they covered the vote.

So why did quite a number of bloggers and Tweeters and plurkers think the mainstream media was missing in action? I can only guess why. Either they did not see reporters with conspicuous press IDs on the floor (for good reason: many of the reporters “cover” in the press room, where their computers and Internet connections are). Or they do not listen to AM radio (the major stations, including dzMM and dzBB, covered the proceedings live). Or they expect the mass media to reach them where they are, in the digital networks they have come to inhabit. Continue reading

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A marriage of, ah, convergence

WAN and IFRA, the two global media associations the Inquirer is a member of, have decided to merge. (I think the newspaper I work for is also a member of two regional conferences, the Society of Publishers in Asia and the Asia News Network.) The explanatory letter, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, is definitely worth a close read.

We are delighted to inform you that WAN and IFRA, the leading international associations for print and digital news publishing, have merged into a new organisation, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The combined new organisation will represent more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3000 companies in more than 120 countries. WAN-IFRA is dedicated “to be the indispensable partner of newspapers and the entire news publishing industry worldwide, particularly our members, in the defense and promotion of press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity, and the development of prosperous businesses and technology.”

The mission statement of the organisation can be found at http://www.wan-ifra.org.

The merger, which becomes effective on 1 July, has been approved by the Boards and the annual meetings of the two organisations. The new organisation will maintain the two current headquarters in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany.

Gavin O’Reilly, the President of WAN and Group CEO of Dublin-based Independent News and Media, will serve as President of the new organisation through 2010. “Both IFRA and WAN are strong organisations providing key services to our industry,” he said. “We believe that combining their strengths will allow us to be even more resourceful and effective in responding to the growing needs of our members and industry partners in the fast-moving and evolving media matrix. This is a necessary merger which, indeed, has been on the cards for some time”.

Horst Pirker, President of IFRA and CEO of Styria Medien AG in Austria, will serve as First Vice President, and become President in 2011. “Like the whole news publishing industry, WAN and IFRA are currently facing serious challenges. I think we need to concentrate our resources to support our members in the best possible way”, he said.

The new organisation will appoint a Chief Executive Officer shortly. In the meantime, the current CEOs of WAN and IFRA, Timothy Balding and Reiner Mittelbach, will jointly manage the merged association.

Members of the respective organisations will continue to enjoy their current benefits and will shortly be informed of the details of the future membership structure. A letter detailing benefits will be sent to you very soon, but if you have immediate questions, please direct them to Ms. Birke Becker (birke.becker@wan-ifra.org).

Any other inquiries you may have to: Larry Kilman, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: larry.kilman@wan-ifra.org.

We are grateful for your continuing support and are looking forward to working together with you in WAN-IFRA.

Sincerely,

Reiner Mittelbach
Timothy Balding

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