Hurricane Isaac coverage showcases hybrid model for news

A lot of hand-wringing goes into wondering what the future of journalism will look like? Will digital or multimedia journalism serve readers better than print? What role will social media play in the future? How will so-called citizen journalists and professionals co-exist?

I think we got a glimpse of that future with coverage of the recent pillage by Hurricane Isaac, which battered southeast Louisiana and the coasts of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. And that future is bright. It is a future where news is multi-platform, easy to search, and up to the second.

Read the rest of this post at Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab.

3 thoughts on “Hurricane Isaac coverage showcases hybrid model for news

  1. I’m not sure that a hurricane is the best test of a news operation. Any reasonably competent organization is going to pull out all of the stops in the case of a disaster, and they’ll get cooperation from everyone involved in the newsroom and in the community. It’s the ability of a newsroom to cover a community day-in, day-out that is most impacted by the loss of a daily print deadline.

  2. Ed,

    Very good point. You are right. Pretty much any news organization can cover a disaster well. But, I do think, that the hybrid approach to news showcased itself well for the coverage. During a storm or a disaster, the need to know information was far greater than during a traditional news event or any routine coverage. And the need to know specific news (like where a tornado touched down) was far greater than in routine news. The interweaving of citizen and traditional journalists made it possible to provide this specific, quick, real-time news.

    However, I do agree that the real test of a news organization is everyday coverage. That’s absolutely true. But my point wasn’t really to say that the storm tested a particular news organization or even news organizations as a whole. It was to argue that this hybrid approach to news was useful — perhaps even vital — during the storm. Subtle distinction, I know, but I think it is important.

    Thanks for reading.


  3. Pingback: SuperTalk Mississippi interviews Gina Chen | Save the Media

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