At the end of the first day’s session in Kochi, we asked participants what they had heard and what they took away from the workshop. Here’s some of what they shared:
- One journalist said: “I learned many new things. I want to add one thing. How was 9/11 covered in the U.S., and how were the Mumbai attacks reported? I want to understand the difference and why.” Howard Finberg: In general, the U.S. tends to be isolated in the way it views the world. Unlike India, which is in the middle of several countries, we sometimes have a parochial view of the rest of the world.
- “If I have to ask the editor to hire one tech person, what should I tell him? What kind of person can help me develop tools?” one journalist asked. Casey Frechette said: The most important thing is someone who is tuned in to what these tools are, even if they don’t know how to use everything. It’s good to start with web development, including HTML.
- What will happen to long-form journalism? Tom Huang: I believe it will survive – and especially thrive on tablets and e-readers. I believe the human writing voice will remain the same, even as we use digital tools to tell stories in many different ways.
- What is the impact of multimedia on serious journalism? Vidisha Priyanka: Yes, there are sensational stories. But there are a lot of stories that affect your community, health, education, security. They end up in the top 20 stories of the year. Page views are only one metric for the success of the website. People spend a longer amount of time with us, smarter people spend more time with your story.
- One journalist had a question about Google algorithm that gets stories showing up top. It’s about words you use, relevance of links, whom you link to and who links back to you. That’s how you start to rise in Google’s view.
- One journalist had a question about creating a reporter’s resource on internal site in the newsroom.
- One journalist had a question about The New York Times and The Guardian. Are they successful? Their revenue is down, even though they are terrific with print and digital.
- Most of the layoffs are in Western countries. Why are they happening? We have to prepare for that time.