The Convergence Point

Because Story is independent of medium

Archive for the ‘On the Ground’ Category

Walls Down Fortress

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Why do we bother hiding behind walls when the gate’s no longer there?

When the Gatekeepers were cast into the pit of irrelevancy and uselessness, news organizations, ofter gatekeepers themselves, still ran their operations as if they had a gate. As if they could control what went out, when it did, and why it did. They maintained that quasi-authority, fourth estate kind of power, even as the fourth estate dissovled into the crowd.

It dissolved when anyone with a notepad, laptop, smartphone and camera could to the paper’s job faster, and more efficiently that it could.

We can’t work like we’re still a type of institutional power. We’re storytellers, and not meant to be “quasi-governmental.” It’s time to open up. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Steven A. Fletcher

May 9, 2011 at 12:12 am

Tying Two Worlds

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Video in a print story? Impossible! …right?

Wrong. But only recently wrong. The Gloucester Times, and other Eagle Tribune newspapers started using a bit of technology derived from your local grocery store over the last few months. That’s right, bar codes. Read the rest of this entry »

Platforms, Protocols, and how we read.

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The New Media aren’t the information world’s version of pac-man. A new medium will not consume the old medium. Writing did not consume talking, nor photography painting.

So, the web will not consume print in the news world either. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Steven A. Fletcher

April 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm

One Thing

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Readers pick up a copy of the local paper and check the local newspaper’s website because both are local.

No one else covers what the local press does. Statewide networks really don’t care (often with good reason) about the local Selectmen or City Council meetings. They’re dealing with Beacon Hill or Capitol Hill. The specific mechanics of power within cities and towns don’t mean much to the statewide audience.

They mean something to the city audience though, and that’s where the local news-organization shines. That’s our ballpark, for lack of a better term. We don’t play at Gillette, we play at Newell Stadium. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Steven A. Fletcher

April 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Essentials?

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An eighteen page newspaper’s just a bit too long for my taste.

The average morning paper contains a few front-page, leading stories, several local sports pieces, the community calendar, meeting agendas, and the occasional arts and life piece. All deal with the paper’s region.

I’ve read through the two major local papers on Cape Ann, the Salem Evening News, and the Gloucester Daily Times  and paused,  wondering if what I’m reading really needs to be there. Read the rest of this entry »

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?  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Steven A. Fletcher

April 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Conversational Journalism: Dewey, Lippman and the twitterati

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From an unnamed artist,

“Dude threw on scuba gear, swam into a tsunami & saved his wife’s life.”

Wired magazine got it right.

Their tweet was unofficial, conversational and human. The reporter who wrote this feels like a real person, not a news-spewing robot. Read the rest of this entry »