Wick Communications

Emphasize the river

In journalism on 23 May 2013 at 2:38 pm

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 2.44.03 PM

The screenshot above is a tweet from David Skok, director of digital global news at Shaw Media in Canada. He distilled an earlier blog post from Steve Buttry, whom I’ve quoted before. Buttry calls himself the digital transformation editor for Digital First Media. Consider him a sort of digital evangelist within the news game. He has been around the block and yet isn’t afraid of the new technologies that can help us do our jobs more effectively.

Buttry has penned an entire series of blog posts he calls Advice for Editors. All of them can be found at the end of the above link and all of them merit your attention.

The post that Skok references is all about the power of disruption. We here in Silicon Valley take the disruptive model as an article of faith. Everything is changing all the time and if an enterprise resists, it’s sunk. Buttry puts it like this:

“We’ve always done it that way” isn’t an acceptable explanation for doing anything in your newsroom.

I think Skok’s idea is a good one. Consider your job the care and steering of a river of information rather than a lurch from deadline to deadline. That may change the way you look at daily or weekly meetings. You don’t have to throw out the baby with all that bathwater rolling down the river of knowledge. Keep the weekly meetings, but acknowledge that hourly huddles are necessary in order to keep your Web product fresh.

Thumb through Buttry’s posts. It’s good stuff.


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