Multimedia can add diversity

“Multimedia has the power to reach a more diverse audience.  Mastering these new communications tools is how African Americans can ensure they will continue to have a voice in government and advance their own personal power.”

Speaking to an audience at Virginia Commonwealth University on October 10, the executive editor for Black Enterprise magazine, Derek Dingle, said the “ungovernable media landscape” means “big media no longer has exclusive dibs on deciding what’s news, what’s important.”

Dingle pointed to the coverage of the Jena 6 controversy as a perfect example.  He says that story had gone largely ignored by the mainstream media until “young people raised the profile of the case through Web sites and email.”  Dingle says, “The Internet and blogs drove the discussion and the national media followed.”

But Dingle says the new media landscape poses a challenge for traditional journalists who value “clarity, context and accuracy.”  Dingle says journalists will be challenged to compromise these values in the interest of competition.

He offers four pieces of advice for preserving journalism in today’s media environment:

  1. Embrace technology.  Journalists should view themselves as content developers and managers.
  2. Keep the audience by knowing where they are and delivering news wherever the audience wants to receive it.
  3. Stay true to standards of journalistic integrity and excellence.  Don’t compromise accuracy for expediency or clarity for the sensational.  The audience must trust you.
  4. Listen to voices emerging out there.  Journalists often only talk and listen to themselves.  New media offers an unprecedented window on what “real people” are talking about.   Listen to them.

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