The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium

Only What Matters

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The multifaceted, prismatic nature of the internet makes it a superior platform.

The net’s not easily classified as a single medium, as it incorporates, in equal focus, the three primary meta-media. That is, the three basic media through which we interact with out world, video, audio, and print. The web allows news organizations, papers and otherwise, to tell stories in a myriad of media.

So why don’t we just use the web? 

Newspapers won’t give up the second half of their name any time soon. I’m not sure they should either. That 18 page leaflet we leaf through every morning entrenched itself as an American cultural artifact long before the web started doing the same thing. But, nostalgia doesn’t give us enough of a reason for us to keep them around.  Neither does the hope of creating a therapeutic white space in screen-worshipping life of the technorati masses.

Papers still serve a purpose. I’ve written a bit about the two reality schism our nation, and communities find themselves in. That schism will only become more apparent as the internet half of that dichotomy grows and integrates. The physical paper, meets the needs of one half of the schism.

Its matter. Not data.

The paper’s a second platform, like a facebook page or a website. It’s part of that reader traffic circle. The web won’t meet many needs the paper does, and the paper won’t meet the web needs. A news organization should get them to work together, each doing their own thing. Sort of a right hand not knowing what the left’s doing kid of thing.

With a physical and digital product, the news organization becomes the lynchpin holding the two communities together. Well, it could be.

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Written by Steven A. Fletcher

April 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm

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