News outlets branding themselves online, how do users play a role?
What do you recommend for smaller newspapers that want to brand themselves online?
Panelists have shared their views. Ellen Foley said though from an editor perspective branding is the last thing you want to talk about, it’s so necessary today. Even a small media outlet, panelists say, can be at an equal playing field with the big boy media when they brand themselves online.
Foley says the newsroom and the content has shifted from the editor to the reader, with all of the content now online. The audience and the people are the focus. Jon Sawyer from the Pulizer Center on Crisis Reporting said the news production side is as important as the after-math commentary on the story. Engaging the audience after the story is published is now the key, he says. Online comments and in-person forums on college campuses are way to expose the journalism and engage in a conversation about the content. Everyone benefits with this model–the students who can participate in the content, and the journalists, who can keep a pulse on what their audience wants.
I think this new model of shaping content delivery around what the users crave is what is working today on the web. The most successful new journalism caters to the blogosphere and to the social media-centric user. Drudge, Huffington, Politico. But do these sites demand a different type of journalism, that is perhaps edgier just to attract traffic? If journalists are so concerned with catering to the users, do we lose the coverage of tough topics?