We’re in the business of ‘filling knowledge gaps’

I like these bullet points from a post written by Joy Mayer after she saw Elements of Journalism author Tom Rosenstiel speak at an Association of Alternative Weeklies  conference. They strike me as helpful in changing the way we think about journalism – especially in established newsrooms where old habits and entrenched thinking die hard.

— The power is shifting from journalists to their communities.

— Every media is an alternative media, competing against everyone else.

— Users don’t often have a primary media source but instead access at least five news platforms a day.

— People consume news at the story level, not the home page level. Your brand is in each story.

— The future of journalism (and specifically for the alternative press in this audience) lies in understanding the role you play in peoples’ lives, not in the practices and techniques that used to work for you.

— We don’t have “an audience.” We have multiple audiences. Online, we can create verticals that have different identities and serve different users.

This is my favourite:

— You’re not in the business of writing stories and selling ads. You’re in the business of creating knowledge that is otherwise missing in your community. Fill knowledge gaps.

Mayer also summarises Rosenstiel’s ‘seven/eight/nine functions journalists play’ which are worth a read. They include witness bearer, authenticator, sensemaker, watchdog, smart aggregator and community builder.

Read the rest of Mayer’s post here.