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Thomas Ritchie Visit

October 3rd, 2010 by Gustav

Thomas Ritchie utilizing his computer

Sioux City Journal’s Online Director talked in a Mass Comm class last Wednesday. The news world is changing, at a fast pace. Instant videos and online expansion are the means of future journalism.

Thomas Ritchie seemed a little out-of-focus when he presented his philosophy of journalism to the News Production class. No wonder, considering the number of the Journal’s subsribers shrank to about 41,000, plus about 10,000 who regularly access the website. Today, the impact of YouTube,
with its video possibilities, including lifestreams, and other social networking websites seem to change the news world. there chances for new story formats,
and extension possiblities to stories by plain video inputs.

Even recently growing websites like Twitter influence the way people show their interest on news. “As a celebrity show it’s great”, so Ritchie. “The difference to Facebook is that it’s even more public.”

Social media change news into a respondive fashion, where people give feedback
on other’s comments, and interact through their own “news contributions”.

Instructor Ross Fuglsang agreed: “Interactive immediacy is what the people want.”However, he is skeptical about Twitter, but as journalists’ identities
change, and even bloggers are considered journalists today, we will rely more on “somebody out there” who will gather information for us, which then would mean that, indeed, everybody can produce news.

Thomas Ritchie didn’t reveal whether he liked the changes to come, but he seemed to enjoy showing some media expansion possibilities on the screen. He said we need fast mediums to engage people so that they access online news. On a student’s question (anonimous) on online liabilty, he responded: “When abuse is reported we need to intervene. Otherwise we like people to raise their own issues.”

Another student, Shelby Powell, said after the lecture: “That was interesting information. A lot of it was new to me, but he seemed to be talking out of his mind sometimes.”

The path of modern news is somewhat blurry, but the direction is clear: quick, online, interactive. A notion that most old-dog newspaper editors probably regret.

Posted in General, News Production - Comm 208 | | | 1 Comments

One Response to ' Thomas Ritchie Visit '

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  1.   fuglsang said,

    on October 6th, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    A good recap, Gustav, but as we go over speeches and press conferences in the next couple days, consider how you would focus your story. One thing: rather than trying to cover everything, you would focus the story on the one aspect you found most interesting.

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