Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shifting from print to online

Over at the Poynter Institute, Steve Outing has a post about a journalist at the New York Times making the move from print reporter to multimedia reporter. Steve warns other print reporters that similar changes are "in their (near) future."
That's exactly the message I've been trying to get across to folks in B2B journalism in posts such as this one. (But read through the comments section to get a feel for how frustrated I am in this fight.)
If you're looking for further proof that our jobs are becoming less about print and more about multimedia, then check out the latest news from Reed Business. The giant of business-to-business publishing has named Tad Smith as its new chief executive officer.
Smith, who will now oversee more than 100 B2B titles, is the former head of Internet operations at Reed. And his "top priority" in his new job is growth ... "especially in the electronic realm.”
Note: Although Smith is clearly an online advocate, I'm not very impressed with much of what he's done online. Smith's most recent gig at Reed involved overseeing the publications of the media division. That means he's the guy who ran Variety. And as much as I love what Variety has done with blogs, I find that site a cluttered mess. Furthermore, the site seems to freeze and crash more than any other site I visit. The media division also includes Multichannel News and Broadcasting and Cable. I like the look of those sites, but they are essentially print products dropped onto a Web page. Links are nearly nonexistent. There's no conversation and very little graphic material. (Multichannel News has a particular feature that annoys me -- a "feedback" function that doesn't let readers post a comment, but instead sends an email to some unnamed person.) The media group also includes Video Business, a site that does seem to understand online content. It has a few flaws, but it's generally a good Web-based product. In particular, I'm pleased by the comment function that runs with the columns.

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