viernes, octubre 19, 2007

¿Es el fin de las noticias?

Los indicios que las cosas están cambiando (y muy rápido) son enormes y a veces angustiantes. MyTimes -del NYT- entrega noticias publicadas por el Washington Post, su principal competidor; hace competir a sus periodistas con las audiencias, a través de mayor número de clicks, lo que muchas veces produce una jerarquía muy lejana a lógica periodística; la página del USAToday definitivamente centra su atención en los complementos (videos, blogs, fotos, redes sociales) y blogs como superan en visitas a las principales compañías de noticias de EE.UU. Para Guillermo Culell, director digital del grupo Comercio, las cosas son más o menos claras, a pesar del ritmo de los cambios. Las noticias cada vez ocupan un espacio menor en el consumo de las audiencias y probablemente los sitios de noticias deban adaptarse a una plataforma mucha más amplia de intereses. El siguiente texto ahonda es una discusión que apenas de advierte entre los gremios profesionales (bastante perdidos) y las escuelas de Periodismo, que debieran seguir este fenómeno de cerca y sin temor.

Por Michael Wolff
VanityFair. Articulo.
In every newsperson, not just Rupert Murdoch, there's the dream of owning a newspaper—my paper. This retro dream is why, for the past six months, every Wednesday morning, I've been on a conference call about the subject of software design and digital engineering as it relates to the news. Although the discussion is specifically about how to make the news exciting (come on, guys, if it bleeds it ledes), it is often as tedious an hour as any I remember from high-school math. I've been able, however, using the mute button, to shower during these calls.

The call gathers its participants from Chicago, Boston, Silicon Valley, and New York. On the one side are the newspeople—including, along with me, former New York–magazine editor Caroline Miller, former managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press Ken Doctor, and various writers and reporters I've dragooned—and on the other side, the software engineers and their marketing counterparts from a technology company called Highbeam Research, which owns one of the largest news databases in the world (50 million articles). Highbeam has kindly agreed to put up the seed money to let us start our news … what? Not paper, not show, not screen, not portal (nobody says that anymore)—a news something in digital form.

The job of the newspeople is to explain what makes news news—what makes news jump off the page or the screen, why it is not just merely data. That news is, for better or worse, a card trick. Holding people's attention is the trick. Impassive response: the unstated point of the tech people seems to be that their job is strictly procedural, granular (pride in the trees rather than the forest), and, they imply, honest (as opposed to the flimflam of media), and, too, that this is why young people are off news, because they see that it's just a stupid card trick (poor Katie Couric could be defined as a stupid card trick). The techies go back to talking about data hierarchies while I despair and press the mute button and turn the water on my head.


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