Monday, August 13, 2007

Briggs lights fire

Mark Briggs, author of "Journalism 2.0" just finished a presentation today (Aug. 13) at the Diversity Institute's Online and Multimedia Reporting Seminar being held this week in Nashville.

Mark is trying to start a fire. And maybe that's what newspapers need -- a swift kick in the rear to wake up to the exploding world of online and user-generated media.

His presentation focused heavily on the need for journalists to become aggregators of information. About how we need to begin tuning into the multitudes of blogs and other information centers on the Internet and how we need to become the "trusted center" for news consumers.

He suggested everyone in the audience begin creating RSS feeds, a new term for me personally.

Essentially, an RSS feed is an online search engine you create that synthesizes information according to particular topics. For example, if you're a courts reporter, you could start an RSS feed that provides headlines from news sources that link to stories about interesting court cases. He provided several examples of RSS feeds that journalists could use, including and

Mark talked much about how online advertising is rising meteorically, while newspaper advertising is on a fast downhill slope. Newspapers need to take advantage of this rise in online advertising by feeding consumers' hunger for reader-generated media.

Newspapers need to embrace the new media and begin "leaving core resources in commons, where they're free for people to build upon as they see fit." What does that mean? That means newspapers need to become forums. For example, many newspapers have found success in allowing readers to submit photos for everyone to see. By doing that, they are allowing readers to become creators of content.

Mark stressed the need for newspapers to stop being lecturers and start becoming discussion guides.

He offered a number of Web sites that he described as best examples, including and

He ended his presentation with a slide showing a man holding a flag, signifying revolution.

The fire must be lit, and Mark is the man to light it.

-- Kevin Abourezk

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