As an elaboration of some of the general trends we’re seeing in journalism online, I point to the announcement today by the The New York Times of a new text messaging service that will, according to the Times, “deliver the latest news, features and columns from the newspaper as well as features from The Times Magazine to cell phones and mobile devices.”
“We intend to use every available platform to disseminate The Times’s quality news and information,” said Rob Larson, vice president, product development and management, NYTimes.com.
We’ve been discussing in Intro to Digital Communication this push to mobile as one of the larger macro trends determining journalism’s future online. Other trends include Web 2.0 social networking, a trend that rewards those who develop platforms rather than content (FaceBook, YouTube, MySpace, Digg), platforms that enable and incent users to create the content, and the spread of Long Tail hyperlocal niche news, like Hometown Headlines locally, Rome News-Tribune’s Gridiron Central, Chicagocrime.org, EveryBlock, SkiSpace.com and BlufftonToday. This emphasis on the very local is not new. News 400 years ago was shared in coffeehouses and publick houses, and it was all very, very local, or as Adam Holovaty refers to it, “address-specific news.”
To mobile and social networking, add one more ingredient for quite the online journalism cocktail — personalization. Think Digg, De.li.cio.us and most portal page fronts. We are getting increasingly more control over our media landscapes, accustomed as we have become to TiVo in television.
All of this sets us up nicely for discussions on Chris Anderson’s Long Tail, which are upcoming.
(btw: “The Old Gray Lady” is a nickname for the New York Times, from its pre-color days)