Our first article is on the site but still in protected mode at New Tech Press. It goes live to the world on the 14th. If you want to see it, drop me an email and I will send you the password.
If you haven't been keeping up, New Tech Press is a brand new idea in journalism and if you want to know why we are doing it, here's the basic problem we are dealing with, as stated by the Firesign Theater maniacs:
Everything you know is wrong.
In support of that premise Chris Edwards posted a discussion of the trend among bloggers toward blacklisting PR folk for sending them useless crap. I understand the frustration because the amount of crap the press has to deal with is rising as the media ranks shrink, along with their ability to handle the load.
In the past few months I've been hearing from journalists all over the country; men and women who are consummate professionals, skilled in the ability to research thoroughly and report objectively on the news that affects us all on a daily basis. The are abjectly discouraged.
Their jobs are in jeopardy, there income is shrinking and their workload is increasing. Several have left the profession they love in exchange for corporate communications positions where they can at least make a living.
And on the flip side, I'm hearing from headhunters and human resources in major publications who are desperately looking for qualified journalists who will work for pay substantially less than what was offered 10 years ago.
For the past year I've been talking about how the media isn't covering certain stories, not because the stories are not newsworthy, but because the journalists do not have the time to cover the stories. We are quickly moving to a moment where we simply won't have qualified journalists to research and objectively report the news.
That's the downside.
Here's the upside.
For journalism to survive as a profession, it is going to have to change with the times and journalists are going to have to become professional. I've said this before, but it's becoming even more urgent. Professionals work with each other. They don't compete. The information of the Information Age is too vital to our lives to leave it the amateurs and hobbyists. And that is starting to happen. Through our work in New Tech Press, some journalists are getting to concept of cooperative reporting and dissemination. Virtual trade shows are starting to return as potential distributors of information and individual journalists are experimenting with new vertical forms of online publications.
What we all have to learn is that when we see something in information dissemination that is different from whatever we've seen before, it's probably the way it's going to be.
Media is morphing into something new and the process is really uncomfortable for everyone. Bloggers want the status afforded to traditional journalists but don't want the the work of having to sift through the data. No journalist is getting paid extra for the extra work required of them to adequately blog. Whole media houses are ignoring information once called newsworthy simply because they don't have time write about it. Lots of journalists are leaving their profession and taking it into proprietary communication medium inside non-media corporations.
It's all upside down and inside out. We are in uncharted territory and all of us -- journalists, PRs, corpcomm managers, marketers and even CEOs -- have to deal with it. Mistakes will be made until we actually know what we are going to become, but it will probably never be what it was.
Get used to it. Everything you know is wrong.