In the increasingly tumultuous landscape of the contemporary media, most journalists have run into one of several corners. Some have wholeheartedly embraced the new media, while others have condemned the idea of citizens affecting the reporting of real stories. Some have denounced new media as childish and said the media is losing sight of what is important.
James Fallows’ cover story in this month’s edition of The Atlantic takes the most nuanced, well-thought out view I have seen. It shows the success of Gawker and explores the various ways new media has allowed big time media operations to improve coverage of recent stories, such as the revolution in Egypt.
It is hard to imagine the wave of social media developments slowing any time soon, so Fallows makes an intriguing case for journalists — even those who don’t want to jump in head first — to at least dabble in social networking to improve their craft. He points out that new media often does a better job of realizing and appealing to the readers’ wants, in addition to their needs.
And if you give the readers what they want, they will also come to you or your publication for what they need.