Vadim Lavrusik, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the journalism program manager at Facebook, posits that media outlets must innovate the news gathering process instead of innovating the distribution process.
Journalists should no longer think of themselves as “newspaper reporters” or a journalist of any specific medium. Instead they should consider themselves multimedia producers equipped to tell a story on multiple platforms. They should also have knowledge of how stories are being consumed. More than anything, a truly “integrated newsroom” will have journalists who build tools that enable them to do reporting at scale and innovate the storytelling process.
So what do these tools look like? Anything that helps journalists do their jobs quicker and smarter. Yes, some things do take a human eye, but what if reporting dashboards could, for example, surface trends in financial documents from a local government budget or find irregularities in expense allocation of a state-funded agency.
I wish this were a more in-depth piece. It feels like Lavrusik is merely scratching the surface of possibilities. Journalism isn’t just about pounding the pavement with elbow grease, it’s about taking available technology, or inventing your own, to do a better and more efficient job.