The different ways news organisations can tell stories in the digital age

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Location-specific content might be the next big thing in journalism, said Mathew Ingram, senior writer for GigaOm told the final session of the news:rewired conference in London today.

I am surprised no media outlet is publishing more content-specific news. In fact, I think the biggest competitor for journalists is going to be Google: they are providing location-targeted content and that’s great.

Ingram showed the audience some examples where multimedia journalism is heading, one of which was a feature called Snow Fall – The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek that appeared on the New York Times website. Snow Fall sought to tell the story of an avalanche through bundling every possible piece of available media together in a single package.

This way of bundling content, Ingram said, was viewed by some ( including Slate) as “bad for the web” as it can be a confusing way to gather information together. However, he said, this type of content bundling was becoming increasingly popular.

The use of graphical and visual content, Ingram said, was not the sole conversation to have when discussing the future of online journalism.

People are hoping that these features will rescue the media from everything that’s happening, but that’s probably overstating the case.

However, he added that written articles were no longer the only form of news, the “thing that everything directs towards”.

He said:

There’s a lot more we can be thinking about. If what we’re trying to do is communicate, there are all sorts of different ways to reach out to people. Not everyone is visual, not everyone is text-based, not everybody likes to read 7000-word features.

If a part of the audience adores multimedia features, for others that content interferes with people’s ability to comprehend what’s in these features.

I want there to be as many different types of online story as there are people.

Ingram said it was too early to be certain about where the future of journalism was going.

A new ecosystem of news is evolving; we need to figure a way of putting the disjointed pieces together in a coherent way. I don’t know, nobody knows, and people who claim they know are lying.


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