Converging with Other Emerging Media – Summary

In today’s convergent newsrooms, there is a wide range of emerging media that can now be used to distribute the news.

While the field of convergent journalism is still too new to suggest any one medium in particular, the opportunities range from text-only to full-motion video media and it is our job as journalists to explore these different options and choose the best medium to deliver our stories.

When deciding which new medium to use, we must consider format, timing, the audience and other editorial issues.

Principles of Convergent Journalism recommends thinking about the following three interwoven considerations regarding the audience: where they are and what they are doing, what they want and what they need to know, and what you are capable of delivering to them using the tools available to you.

RSS, or “really simple syndication,” feeds allow you to provide content to users who have requested to receive it. When you subscribe to a website’s RSS feed, your browser or reader automatically checks the site for updated information.

While RSS subscribers must request to receive the information, they still have the choice of whether they view what you send or not. I use Google Reader to receive all the latest news from my favorite websites and blogs.

E-mail notification and text messaging are also great ways to deliver content to users who have selected to receive it. E-mail allows the length and content of the message to be more elaborate, but we must also bear in mind that e-mail works best for brief summaries and headlines and providing links to more in-depth stories and content may be more effective.

Steve Madden utilizes weekly e-mail updates introducing new deals and trends with bright images and links to the main website.

Billboards and the radio broadcast data service (RBDS) are other mediums to consider in the evolving convergent newsroom. Over the years, we will continue to experiment with these mediums and deliver the news in new ways.