OLD Media Moves

A "miniphany" on the SF Chronicle biz desk

March 19, 2006

Alan Saracevic, the assistant business editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, writes in the Sunday business section about a mini epiphany he had recently about the future of newspapers and journalism, and it comes from the paper creating a technology blog to be written by reporters on the business desk.

Blogging cartoonSaracevic writes, “But this week I had a minor epiphany. (A miniphany?) It started when a group of us reporters and editors in The Chronicle’s Business section started a technology blog. It’s called The Tech Chronicles (sfgate.com/blogs/tech) and it might be the last thing the world needs: another blog.

“But the reaction, internally and externally, led to my miniphany. I was worried it wouldn’t be good. I was worried no one would read it. And I might still be right on both counts.

“But in the process of getting this thing going — which to be fair is just the latest of countless digital projects The Chron and SFGate have undertaken over the past 12 years — we reached out to the Bay Area’s media revolutionaries and asked for advice. And in typical Bay Area fashion, the real revolutionaries responded in kind, encouraging us and offering to help the dreaded MSM bridge the gap between old and new.

“I also saw a bunch of crusty newsroom types get newly jazzed about our ancient profession: finding information and passing it along. We’re having a blast playing with a new printing press.

“The combination of reactions gave me hope. Because for any of us immersed in the media’s spasmodic reinvention, as a participant or consumer, the resulting mess has been ugly.”

It is encouraging to see business journalists embrace new delivery forms for information. I see to much resistance in the main street media — and those who used to work for the main street media — when it comes to new concepts like blogs and podcasting. They don’t seem to understand that it’s simply just another way of delivering the same information to readers.

Read Saracevic’s column here.

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