The Future Of Journalism Doesn't Have A Head Office

from the and-it's-way-bigger-than-HuffPo dept

Globe and Mail columnist Simon Houpt is unsure about the future of journalism. For a recent piece, he visited the offices of Huffington Post Canada and raised questions about the publication's approach to news curation and reporting. A lot of the usual HuffPo topics are dicussed (is aggregation theft? Is it wrong to not pay bloggers?) but there's one statement right at the beginning that I want to address:

The future of journalism looks like an ad agency.

This is what you think when you walk into the downtown Toronto offices of the Huffington Post’s Canadian operation, which it shares with its corporate parent, AOL Canada Inc. You probably don’t even need a description to imagine the scene, but here goes: Airy, two-storey, loft-like playpen on Spadina Avenue. Exposed brick. Rows of young folk in checkered flannel shirts staring intently into oversized monitors. A pair of electric guitars hanging above the boss’s desk, which sits invitingly in the corner rather than hiding away in a separate office.

For one thing, I'm not sure what's so scary about newsrooms becoming more open, accessible and friendly—to me, that doesn't immediately say "ad agency". But much more importantly, the Huffington Post is not the head office of modern journalism.

HuffPo is one brand, one network—a widespread and highly successful one to be sure, but just one piece of the puzzle. The simple fact is, there is no one hub of modern journalism. In fact, one of the biggest defining characteristics of journalism in the digital era is a movement away from centralization, with quality content coming from a huge array of sources both big and small.

It's old-world thinking that leads people to seek a single organization they can look to as an example of what journalism is becoming, and that prevents them from seeing the real change: the future of journalism doesn't have a head office, and it's not defined by what the Huffington Post is doing.



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  •  
    identicon
    Angus, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:02am

    Redundant

    Sorry, but this article is completely bare of any content that is in any way relevant to modern journalism and media. You generalise from the specific - a description you found on the net - and then proceed to make some vague point extrapolating from that generalisation. What exactly is your point? You're so vague. The future of journalism is certainly not at Techdirt.

    Jaded,
    Angus Maiden

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:43am

      Re: Redundant

      Oh the irony of your Subject title.

       

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    •  
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      hfbs (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:26am

      Re: Redundant

      > The future of journalism is certainly not at Techdirt.

      Course it isn't. Because TD is a blog, not a news site.

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:57am

        Re: Re: Redundant

        You are wrong. Journalism will come in many forms. Techdirt is a single (used loosely) topic news site based around IP issues. Specialized blogs are becoming more important as time goes by. I follow about 20 single topic blogs, 5 or 6 general blogs-news sites via RSS, and get things of interesting through FaceBook and Google+.

        The future of news is , news you trust, the topics you want, when you want them. Mike has been balls accurate on IP issues which is why I come back. My only complaint is his titles read like they are from a tabloid.

         

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:41am

      Re: Redundant

      I felt my point was pretty clear: modern journalism is increasingly decentralized, and commentators who talk about the "future of journalism" based on one office of one company are not really seeing the big picture.

      So... what exactly is your complaint? I mean yeah, there's a LOT more that can be discussed on this topic - this was in no way intended to be a comprehensive post on every aspect of journalism today. But if you want to delve deeper into the details and discuss it more, I'd be happy to - just, try to only hit submit once next time.

       

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        Angus (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:19am

        Re: Re: Redundant

        It wasn't clear. You just commented on the look and feel of one part of the enormous machine that is journalism. You then jumped straight from Simon's description of the Huffington Post office to your point about global media. No continuity. I get what you're saying though, so it's cool. Sorry if I was a bit rude. I have no complaints, I just felt like venting my anger that I burnt my finger on the stove... 4 times o_0

         

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          Hephaestus (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Redundant

          Marcus's article does seems a bit rushed. But you can not expect every article to be a full blown analysis of the future trends of journalism. This one simply points you in the direction of an article, and gives commentary about how the reporter doesn't see whats happening online.

          Blogs, social media, general news sites, RSS feeds, email, Reddit like sites, all have a role to play in the future of journalism.

           

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        •  
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          Hephaestus (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Redundant

          Marcus's article does seems a bit rushed. But you can not expect every article to be a full blown analysis of the future trends of journalism. This one simply points you in the direction of an article, and gives commentary about how the reporter doesn't see whats happening online.

          Blogs, social media, general news sites, RSS feeds, email, Reddit like sites, all have a role to play in the future of journalism.

           

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        •  
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          Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re: Redundant

          It's fine. I think the continuity is a little stronger than you say though - the article is titled "Is the Huffington Post the future of journalism?" and then opens with a broad sweeping statement about what the future of journalism looks like. I wanted to push back on an article that equates one organization so strongly with the entire journalistic pursuit.

           

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Angus, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:03am

    Redundant

    Sorry, but this article is completely bare of any content that is in any way relevant to modern journalism and media. You generalise from the specific - a description you found on the net - and then proceed to make some vague point extrapolating from that generalisation. What exactly is your point? You're so vague. The future of journalism is certainly not at Techdirt.

    Jaded,
    Angus Maiden

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      welllll, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

      Re: Redundant

      if techdirt is not the future at least it will more then likely last longer then traditional *journalism* will.

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Angus, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:03am

    Redundant

    Sorry, but this article is completely bare of any content that is in any way relevant to modern journalism and media. You generalise from the specific - a description you found on the net - and then proceed to make some vague point extrapolating from that generalisation. What exactly is your point? You're so vague. The future of journalism is certainly not at Techdirt.

    Jaded,
    Angus Maiden

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Angus, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:03am

    Redundant

    Sorry, but this article is completely bare of any content that is in any way relevant to modern journalism and media. You generalise from the specific - a description you found on the net - and then proceed to make some vague point extrapolating from that generalisation. What exactly is your point? You're so vague. The future of journalism is certainly not at Techdirt.

    Jaded,
    Angus Maiden

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Angus, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:32am

    Redundant

    Sorry, but this article is completely bare of any content that is in any way relevant to modern journalism and media. You generalise from the specific - a description you found on the net - and then proceed to make some vague point extrapolating from that generalisation. What exactly is your point? You're so vague. The future of journalism is certainly not at Techdirt.

    Jaded,
    Angus Maiden

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Angus, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 12:35am

    Whoops

    Sorry, my phone was giving me a 404. Looks like the future of smartphone intergration isn't on Techdirt either o_0

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 2:20am

      Re: Whoops

      Every time you post anywhere and get an error the first thing you do is give it a minute and check to see if the data was sent, errors happens all the time and are mostly due to end users networks or somewhere in between them.

      You are in luck, if you was in a gaming forum they would berate and make fun of you. It would make the day of some.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:20am

      Re: Whoops

      Haha! I post quite frequently to Techdirt from my phone, never had that problem. Seems like trying 5 times was a bit of overkill tho, no?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 2:14am

    Reminds me of that scene in Pulp Fiction.

     

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    hfbs (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:38am

    Because God FORBID a workplace should be airy, welcoming and fun. We all know a workplace should be grey cubicle after grey cubicle, full of suits and ties, stuffy, boring, grey..

     

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    AG Wright (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:52am

    Amazing

    Gee a news room that is a large open area with people at desks staring at screens.
    That pretty much describes the local paper and the news room on every movie that I've ever seen. What's so hard to understand about that?
    Oh and Angus, at least you're not putting it in all caps but that isn't impressive.

     

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    TimK (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:11am

    Huffington Post

    I've never read nor been to the Huffington Post site....until today. My God is it awful. I'm not talking about the content, but the layout and design. What a mess. It reminds me of MySpace. There is crap all over the place. I can't tell what's a story, what's a picture, what's an ad.

    OK, maybe its not as bad as MySpace, but it still looks cobbled together and confusing.

     

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    sgt_doom (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    What media?????

    ".. the Huffington Post is not the head office of modern journalism."

    Perfectly stated! Indeed, the heavy censorship practised on Ariana's site is legendary, the latest attack was when populist Jesse Ventura simply mentioned that questions should be raised concerning the 9/11 commission report, and his blog posting was immediately pulled.

    But then, one can one expect from the past partner of Andrew Breitbart, who divorced her wealthy Gay husband when he lost the election, and overnight declared her neocon self to suddenly be a "progressive" --- right, a George Mason University ultra-neocon "progressive" --- for sure, doods and doodettes!

    Thanks, there is no media today in America, regardless of the numerous idiots in Academia, claiming to be journalism profs, who endlessly refer to "the media" or "the MainStreamMedia" --- give the masses a break, already, with five heavily financially interlocked corporations, equally financially interlocked with the top three banksters, calling the shots, and acting as one, there is effectively one corporation controlling the vast bulk of the American myth-media.

     

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