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How would you reimagine TV News?
+Jeff Jarvis is looking for your answers.  
I'll bite. Redefine the news anchor to be a news buoy who floats on multiple platforms during a 'broadcast' not just TV. Use group video chat as a back channel and a front channel.  Make the news buoy wear an ear piece so they can actually listen to their viewers/colleagues and get real time information/correction/feedback. Human media > text based social media. Redefine the 30 second spot.  "Uncle Walter" needs to be redefined and ambidextrous. One hand =independent journalists.  Other hand =traditional journalists. Hangouts On Air are bringing both of these hands together in a face to face virtual handshake with developers and it's exciting to think about what kind of Journalism Renaissance this real time collaboration could foster. HOA are enabling everyone (in most countries) to have their own free "TV station" with a built in satellite truck in the middle of a crowd sourcing tool. Could group video chat and the ability to broadcast in a social stream be Murrow's _new_"wires and lights in a box?" 

This face to face human media is enabling people from different countries to share on a deeper level and we as newsrooms should pay close attention to the spread of this international pixie dust. 

"If you stay in your room all day you'll never meet anyone and never know whom you've missed.  It's Tinker Bell in reverse: Each time you don't share, a relationship loses its wings.  That is a tangible loss."
--Jeff Jarvis/Public Parts

I often wonder how many more lost relationships it will take for us TV types to  realize we need to be more transparent...warts and all. 
Ode to Peter Pan, we may never grow up....
Mike Shaw's profile photoMike Downes's profile photoSarah Hill's profile photoColin Hill's profile photo
I think the audience participation thing would look like YouTube comments in no time. 
Judging from what I've seen thus far, +Bill LaBrie, I respectfully disagree. Intelligent conversation encourages further intelligent conversation. The useless get ignored and tend to leave for other locales where their trolling finds an audience.
keep faith... I'm allready on to fix nasty rests ;-)
I agree with +DeAno Jackson's justified optimism here. On the surface, DeAno and I look so different, have very different cultural background, etc but we have intelligent conversation ALL THE TIME discussing news and world events. He sometimes convince me, and I sometimes convince him. And sometimes, we respectfully agree to disagree! +Bill LaBrie, I like you to know intelligent conversation is possible and happening.
+Bill LaBrie nah, not if you don't let it be, as YouTube does.

+Sarah Hill Aaron Sorkin should have written a show about KOMU instead. We should use the news to find out what people want to talk about, not bludgeon what we think the "real story" is into people right off the bat!
+Jeff Jarvis great topic thanks +Sarah Hill for sharing this. There is no doubt in my mind that the future of newscast has to go through HO, HOA with citizen's journalism becoming one great global source of immediate information. The issue is not the "quantity" of information gathered trough social networking and/or HOA applied to the newscast like +Sarah Hill did on her pioneeristic approach to this new medium. Quality is a must. Quality intended as Sarah did, forming a group of trustworthy reporters ready to hop in with concrete news and insight from the area interested by the news.
I remember when Gaddafi was captured I was hanging out with +Mike Downes and we rode together the "crazy horse" of news of any kind coming in the Web. It was really hard to determinate which was true and not. The sobriety and professionalism of +Mike Downes made the difference in sorting the news out to be able to give the right information fast, given the pressure.
How many of the citizens "wannabees" journalist could provide such a service to the community?

That is in my humble opinion in what the TV news is going to be in the future but it has to be done through the professionalism that can only come through an extended experience maturate in the field: yes to a quality citizen network. No to makeshift journalists eager to show how great their reports are without any background or training
+Skeaux Sha That is what television is theoretically great at. People who were once atheistic toward information such as yourself can now see things for themselves that they couldn't have without television. The problem is events like that don't happen every day. Plus, one of the most difficult things about journalism is finding something interesting and, well, "new" cost-effectively.

The current events treadmill can be exhausting to follow. It's exhausting for reporters as well. However, every individual has sources of information. "The news" is not that source for everyone, but new technology could make it more appealing to more people.
+Skeaux Sha  The thing about reality TV is not just that it's popular, but that it's popular at a huge profit margin. Keeping up with the Kardashians is not expensive to make, but news with good production values is.

Money is one reason news can never be truly objective, but that's no reason to despair. In my opinion, objectivity is an albatross. The objectivity that matters most is that a story is objectively interesting. Typically to a local audience.

Earth has plenty of troubles, but it's easy to forget that the media is not here to save it. The media is made up of your peers, human beings more or less just like you. If we want to save ourselves, a well-informed public is a good start. Transforming television into a true act of communication between peers could bring us closer to that than ever before.

All people have to "tune out" information that bombards them in their limited activity time every day. For me, it's tuning out Kim and Khloe among other things. But the socialization of all information creates a more horizontal model of information sources that has positives and negatives both, but probably builds a better future in the balance.
+Skeaux Sha 

"Show me first, then perhaps I'll buy into it."

Hard to argue with that! :D
super,no problems everything will be fine
When I passed this post to Sarah Hill, I did not at once spot the inclusion and compliment Jarvis paid (I think it may simply be, by the lack of a biting remark against Sarah, it could be a way of saying Jarvis approves) . Here it is ..

"TV could find a middle ground, opening up the dialog beyond the booked-and-flacked guest on a show while also giving some form, structure, and civility to the conversation. See what local TV news anchor Sarah Hill is doing using Google+ Hangouts to open up TV. A decade ago, I envisioned a show or network that would rely on the then-new network of webcams growing to bring new expertise and new voices to TV. Now it exists. Use it."
Jarvis is both relevant and a true g+ user who reads posts rather just linking to his blog. I wish there were more like him among the Internet famous.
+Randy Resnick I cannot believe it was Feb 2009 when Jarvis gave his tips for a Googlier you .. If you take a look, they are still relevant.

The biggest point is still in the link.. If you look at the exact text AP post at their RAW News you will see any story reposted word-for-word a few 1000 times on the web, when to link back to AP will do the job. 

In a local news site's defence, they pay AP to send them stories, they post, then AP posts 45 mins later in public. End of the day, that same text is on the web dupicated. See this example: where we have stories ranging from 6 mins to 3 hours .. 
For the record, I've posted this at the +Jeff Jarvis blog: 
Jeff, You are welcome to join Sarah and me anytime to discuss your ideas. Why not let's hold a HOA and get cracking .. Mike
Let people choose what real news is. Proberly more good news.
+Bill Mckim I think the quote goes.. What is News?

News is something that's read by someone who never normally reads anything and once they've read it, it's not News anymore.
+Mike Downes I always like the sensation you get when you open up the morning paper looking for what is new. I love the feeling. Next day you look at the same paper and it looks just like something good to ignite a BBQ fire:)
Have an offscreen social media reporter, who can hangout and then have the anchors throw it to him for some key insights said by audience participants so that the fears of it turning into youtube comments can be managed.
Great insights here guys.  We need to do a future hangout about this so we're not just chatting with each others' avatars. :)  As with anything that would go on "TV", Hangout commenters have to be  vetted otherwise yep, it would look like YT commenters. We've got about 4000 in our "FCC approved" circle now to choose from.  Journos here are using circles as a rolodex.  You've got your lawyer circle, musician circle, technology that anytime you need an individual to talk about something, you can ping them on GP to hangout.  No need to book satellite time either.  For us small market newsies, that's pretty efficient.
I think EVERYTHING reported should be sourced and those sources available online so that news is based on facts not commentary alone.
I think management of local news stations (probably rightfully so) want to be cautious before they leap to a new model of news gathering and delivery.  News staffs are stretched to the limit already and time spent needs to be efficient.  However, as the audience has moved away to the web, local news has been trying to find ways to follow them and reach them with their product.  News needs to make money in order to serve the community interest they truly want to serve. 

As more and more stations discover the value of Hangouts and Hangouts to Air I think they are finding that not only is it a great way to connect with those specific people participating, but it's also a way to have a larger, in depth, conversation with lots of people with lots of viewpoints.  I have called local TV News, "Fast Food" News for years because you can only say so much in a 1:30 package.  Hangouts is a wonderful way to expound on the news of the day with a variety of viewpoints. 

TV News already knows it has to change or continue to slowly die.  Thanx to folks like +Sarah Hill, +Melissa Carlson and many others, News Directors and General Managers are seeing the value of G+.  The downside so far is that local stations are still having trouble finding local people to be on.  As the internet is allowing stations to use independent neighborhood reporters to reach into neighborhoods (covering school board meetings, for example) I am hopeful that G+ will grow to where more local viewers will choose to participate with their local stations and increase the scope and depth of local reporting.  Perhaps as more stations us HOA this can help it grow.  Now, if G+ would just let us broadcast YouTube videos in Hangouts :-)
You've gotta have rules, the problem is in enforcing them, especially since people like particularly enjoying being in fluid conversational spaces online... 

On my own Irish politics blog, Slugger O'Toole, we have developed some straightforward rules (along the lines of 'play the ball and not the man') and a little widget that allows us to yellow and red card consistent offenders.

Often the shame is enough help tighten the culture, and it's often the soft touch approach that help make things work (which I'm guessing you already know Sarah)...

The big concern for me, always and abidingly, is how to maintain authority over the material represented by your audience...
Unbiased truth. Follow up stories to keep us informed. Stop chopping stories down so bad that they're not real anymore. Answer the best viewer questions submitted.
Coverage of politics without bias. Over the past 18 years I've watched most stations (the very little TV news I've watched) support the Democrat while Fox supports the Republican. This time around I saw fake/assumed delegate counts, Ron Paul marginalized, and just plain lies. Example: I didn't hear of any TV news source cry foul when Obama signed Executive Order NDRP (martial law can now be enacted during peace time).

It was particularly frustrating to see huge crowds turn out to see Ron Paul and get either no press or downplayed. Est. 10k at UCLA, 8k at Berkeley, 6k here in Austin, TX, etc.

From my perspective, all the big TV networks cater to their sponsors and board members. This partisan reporting is my primary reason for getting my news from the Internet.
+Mike Shaw I'm not clear how News Orgs/Staff are stretched. I admit there are fewer of them and they are expected to cover many more stories, but given the technology and tools available to them.

All I see is a person ineffective the moment they physically move somewhere. Unless they are connected via the web. What I have seen is a lack of understanding how to use these new tools. A cynic may call it laziness and lazy thinking. For example, if a law enforcement officer was given 200 leads to solve a major crime, you would expect one to be triple checked (I hope).

But a journalist always seems to be on that deadline and may not [will not] check out all 200 people/comments on a Social Site. I do see, a scan for the comment that is irregular that could be aired.

Which leads me to the academic issue. News is now raw data and that's how people see it in places like Google News. It is a never ending stream of noise. Scientists are the ones to dig in a harvest excellent content. Have a read of what Topsy are doing:

If after all of that the JSchool has to redefine what comes out the graduation end, so be it. Data Analysts, Social Engineers, Realtime Communicators.. who knows.

And as for the YouTube streamed in HOAs .. If I attended a HOA you were broadcasting right now and shared a clip with you, said it was just fine, turned out it was the latest Lady Gaga song.. your account would be flagged in 4 seconds and you would lose HOAs .. simple as that, least that would happen, ads would be placed against the HAO as a rerun .. But, it seems.. I would walk away just fine, not my account at risk. [Note: these are my thoughts based on friends who have had strikes and even uploaded the odd logo .. and yes the 4 seconds was real].
Perhaps a bit off topic: I would love to see a main stream network analyze and comment on the "Syrian Documents" released on Thursday by WikiLeaks.
+Mike Downes Specifically on how news staffs are stretched I am talking about mainly local news.  A very good example would be the station I worked for in the 1990s until 2002.  Around 1998 (I think) the ABC and CBS affiliates decided to combine forces in a cooperative work agreement.  While no one lost their job immediately many jobs were lost through attritian.  Effectively we had 1 and a half (or less) news staffs working on two station's news casts.  I was the morning anchor for BOTH stations.  I also recorded weather that aired on the CBS station while I was anchoring the ABC station and then I went back to the CBS studio to anchor the local portions of CBS News This Morning and then weather cut-ins the last hour on CBS.  I then recorded radio news for our radio partners and then after lunch supervised our web site and also did feature stories.  Great experience, but very very busy.  Reporters were expected to do multiple versions of their stories so they could air on both stations and still be different.  Since the late 90's many more local stations are combining in this way.  Two stations in Tucson just did very recently.

Even where news staff aren't working for two stations at once, local news is losing viewers and therefore revenue and therefore resources.  Generally speaking you have less staff doing more work.  It is harder to slow down and think more deeply about stories and angles and investigative reporting is much more difficult.  Many more reporters are now also required to shoot their own stories as well as provide web versions, especially for breaking news.  G+ might be one way that reporters could do interviews or MOSs without having to leave the station and making better use of their time.  At least maybe some of the time.

I hear what you are saying about allowing video to be broadcast on HOAs.  It is just a wish of mine in a more perfect world.  :-)  If the host of the HOA had control of the YouTube broadcast perhaps that could work.  There are many videos that could be used as Fair Use in way that would enhance the conversation in an HOA.  Local stations holding a Hangout could air their VOs, VOSOTs and Packages for reaction.  I see real value in that if G+ legal could figure out a way.
Also +Mike Downes you make great points about news on social media being a stream of noise.  I think those of us that are interested in news do a good job of being our own filters and capturing what interests us.  Perhaps most people do a good job of that.  Again back to local news, the challenge is how do you remain an important part of that stream for "viewers" many of whom may never actually watch a newscast!  I rarely watch local news, partly because I don't have cable and I can't get most of them off air.  I do read a lot of their content on Facebook (none of them have a G+ presence yet) and repost what I think is interesting, often with my own commentary.  In that way I do see a lot of their content and even ads.
I think any changes to TV news will need to take the real potential audience in mind.

I used to watch Bloomberg and CNBC and CNN/Fox until I realized that the information I wanted was more easily accessed on the Web. I was watching TV passively just out of habit, in some way hoping to be entertained by it, I suppose. So I stopped. It's like this for a lot of other people I know who are my age (mid 40's) and younger. The older folks who can keep a schedule for such things and in whom the habit is even more ingrained still watch the 5 and 6 and 10 PM newscasts.

I don't know if there's a chance of winning back a younger audience for nightly news in a linear format, but I know that making any changes that potentially confuse or alienate older viewers sounds risky.
I agree with +Scott Swain above. How about some coverage of Ron Paul? Do you realize the race is actually not over, especially because of Rule 38, which states all delegates are free to vote their conscience at the convention in Tampa in August? That convention might just be the biggest news story in many years. Imagine most people thinking Mitt Romney has it wrapped up and then 800+ delegates stand up for Ron Paul. It could be chaos. I hope not. I merely hope Ron Paul wins peacefully. Then... imagine the debates between RP and Obama!
+Bill LaBrie In any story, there is a point where nothing can ever be the same. One example is watching the 6 O'clock News, day in day out. Then, the web comes along and now I watch video on a laptop, and it feels normal. I do not have to be in a lounge and 3 metres from a barrel sized screen.

I can then see viral web video at 8am and see it aired at 1pm and it's out of date. I am so used to talking to News Anchors in real time these days, I almost feel sorry for the ones still trapped in their old school box.

How would you start a conversation with someone who drives 400 miles on a vacation if you said, would't it be quicker to fly? And they reply, what do you mean fly? .. What is that? I guess I'm angling at Marty McFly going back to 1955 .. it was the double take of thinking they were _modern but weren't ..

Where Back to the Future III was 1885 and any smart ass suggestion there would just get you shot .. 
+Skeaux Sha Great comments, and any way you could that in a Cajun Blues Song? NEWS oughta be uncensored, NEWS needs to a change .. Maybe perform it on Sarah's Show ? 
+Skeaux Sha Respectfully, the "News" is less abstract than you'd think. As long as there is weather and traffic, there will be news. But the news will actually have to compete with technology on those evergreen events in the future. Creating a social environment for news is an excellent way to stay relevant. That's basically what YouTube, Twitter, Reddit and Google+ already are. Now what's been successful online has to be adapted to television.
+Colin Hill I thought I remembered you from back in the day at U News. I would say Television is over [as we know it]. It's replaced by a screen that's connected as a computer, that happens to give a feed as video. The remainder is text based supplying what you just mentioned [on demand, email, web etc]. I cannot see what Weather/Traffic have to do with News unless it's adverse.

As an example, maybe a What's Happening? /scheduled /unexpected/ /nearme /peopleIknow .. I think Nintendo Wii had a spinning earth that was zoomable ..
+Mike Downes Weather and traffic are news that happens every day! And although on-demand, bite-sized packages are easier to make than ever there's still something to be said for live news at 8 in the morning, or something that can be listened to in the car.

So sure, television as a technology and a format may already be "over" and will transform into something different soon. But local news will be an important industry as ever, as traditional anchors become the trusted news buoys of their community instead.

And if the tyranny of the 30- and 60-minute format came to an end that would only be a good thing. Advertising will find a way, and the news would be more personalized, digestible, and interactive than ever before.
+Colin Hill In my view, Weather and Traffic are NOT News. Saying it's gonna rain [when the sky has been clear for 3 months maybe News]. The I95 being gridlocked is not News, [if the I95 is gridlocked everyday]. 
All, This post has been chugging along all day. From my cross post, we had this back which we may need some help on ..

+Eli Fennell wrote: This is great stuff, a really good set of ideas to help get the ball rolling towards an industry-wide reinvention of news media that goes beyond simply reinventing the wheel. But, sadly, it requires a mass murder: the "murder" (metaphorically) of those who cannot adapt and evolve with the times. It will be a very messy process.

Mike Downes
+Eli Fennell Wouldn't be fantastic to have Charles Darwin sail again and invent Survival of the Fittest 2.0 .. Remember, he delayed those ideas for twenty years before publication ..

Eli Fennell
That's it, though, Natural Selection lives again in the digital realm, since we've done such a job suppressing it in the biological realm. It's not nice to fool with mother nature.

Mike Downes
+Eli Fennell You have given me a few ideas here. My degree was 1/3 Bio .. If I apply what I know about evolution, I should be able to simulate who swims and who becomes extinct. Few know Dodo's were chased and killed by the Captain's dog on the beaches of Mauritius ..

If natural selection was the Arab Spring and the smartest survive [like the nine year old of #neverseconds] then we have a new economy. Adaptation is the key. The Dodo could not fly. Much written about Gutenberg and the press. Cannot say I have seen Darwin mentioned too much and the web. Will report back.. 
+Mike Downes  I'm surprised you feel that way. Weather and traffic are considered something everyone who leaves the house would like to learn from the news, especially in the USA where most people drive to work. In the simplest of newscasts, they are always included alongside the day's headlines and sports updates for this reason. At least, that's what I've gathered from journalism school.

In some sense, "do I need an umbrella today?" is one of the most important questions the news has to answer because it affects nearly everyone. Not next week, not in November, and not in a counterfactual future, but that day. There will always be weather, so there will always be news about the weather.
+Colin Hill Let's try another idea, go to: and see what you find, especially Realtime Coverage .. and then see:

In my view, there are no geographical boundaries to News anymore. The story lives in the people. What used to be a tiny town reacting is now the globe. Look at the example of #neverseconds  And whoever at JSchool told you News was weather and traffic, I would like to talk to them. 
Well, look at it this way. If you're doing an hourly newscast and fill it with this morning's headlines and yesterday's sports and entertainment features but fail to include weather and traffic you've omitted information that people would like to tune in to listen to. The news doesn't have to be a narrative about trending topics.

I wonder if there's not a cultural barrier here. Do you live in a region where the weather is predictable? In the American Midwest, the weather is volatile at all times of year. Not to mention the Gulf coast, where everyday people have to keep track of tropical storms. In any case, weather and traffic are by definition always localized to a radius of a few kilometers. So although the anchor repeating back wire stories is a phenomenon of the news that should be replaced with active reporters, there will always be a market for local news based on the twin principles of the weather and traffic (and to some extent, sports) being news that is always happening. So I see local television continuing to have a place in the life of American news consumers. I hope that makes sense.
I appreciate what you guys are saying +Skeaux Sha and +Mike Downes but remember where +Sarah Hill is coming from, and others in "traditional media."  They work at TV stations.  They are working in news that is broadcast over the public airways, through cable and now through social media.  It may well be true that TV news will continue to fade and it may even die.  However, just as TV didn't kill radio and cable didn't kill TV, I don't think the internet will kill all the above. 

Things are obviously changing and changing fast!  Our reliance on the local news has faded for sure, but they still serve a roll and my guess is they would like to stay relevant.  That is where this conversation started, I believe.  How would you reinvent news?  How can a news station use the resources of citizen journalists?  Social Media tools?  Other internet based tools to improve what they do and also stay in business?  We are all trying to figure it out and this discussion has been an awesome way to explore all of it. 

I'm still trying to figure out how to monetize my independent reporting skills.  If I knew how to do it, I would quit my "real" job and be an internet pundant all day long!  Maybe if I had more spare time to put into it.   Similarly, local news is now competing with millions of internet pundants! (many of whom barely squeak by or have "real" jobs on the side)  These news models will continue to evolve and maybe there will be a piece of the pie for everyone.  I don't see my local stations going away just yet. 
+Mike Shaw If you ask me it's actually been radio that's been faster to embrace socialized news. The original social talk shows were on radio, after all. And twitter is an even better companion for radio than television is!
A word about citizen journalists and bloggers like the ones that exposed the scandal at CBS news with Dan Rather and National Guard documents that were allegedly forged to make candidate George W Bush look bad.  If it weren't for bloggers who did their due diligence the document discovery might never had been made and a few people at CBS might still have their jobs.  Now there are tons of Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian and you name it blogs and YouTube Channels so that when Fox News and MSNBC ignore Ron Paul, Ron Paulers still discover what is going on because media is plural and it is everywhere.  Similarly, when NBC declares that global warming science is settled and there is nothing to discuss, the conversation is very loud on other channels, or when they selectively edit a 911 call they are called on it.  Citizen Journalists keep traditional media honest, at least to a degree, and that is a good thing.
Yes +Colin Hill you can make that case (and you just did, I think : )  You are right.  The faster media adapts the better off it will be.  That's the tension, right?  Holding on to old models because they still bring in revenue, although less than before, versus jumping to the next big thing that may not be.  News managers and station owners whose livelihoods ride on these decisions have to walk a fine line.  Get too far behind and die and get too far in front or in the wrong direction and die.  In some ways it's easier to be an internet pundant with a real job because if I am wrong it's not a big deal :-)  If I'm right I could hit it big! (and then appear on TV shows : )
+Mike Downes +Colin Hill (no relation but I'd claim him! :)  we have a saying in our newsroom....  our news exists to sell the weather.  We have big monitors in our newsroom with Chart Beat that show where people are living on our website.  Every day I come in the newsroom, our weather page is trending on our site.  The majority of people on are on our weather page. Local weather is a major driver to our website probably because we have tornadoes and it can be life threatening so people want to know about it 24/7.  Not sure if the UK treats weather like a "weather story"....might have something to do with the weather patterns there? ....but here in the US, it's so much a part of our newscast that we routinely lead with it.  What I'd love to see happen is for more of us newsies to treat news stories like approaching storms....we are tracking these news stories...they are developing... here's where the story is now. Go to a more news on demand model like radio.  Mike you did a great example of that where you combined the story with its accompanying SEO. You showed people HOW it was unfolding on the web.  I think with the "unbundling of news" currently underway where TV news is no longer a pre-produced 1:30 package, that kind of storytelling will be important to educate people that the story is never finished. News is continuous and the story changes and turns just like an Alberta Clipper....
+Sarah Hill Absolutely. Especially considering all the navel-gazing we've seen after the cable channels flubbed the Health Care decision coverage. The human context of an evolving news story is more compelling than being first. (WNYC tells me audiences don't really care, and it's just journalists competing with each other – I get that! But there's no need to put so much effort into being first.) And I think television is in a great position to do that now that it's easier than ever to take a live feed anywhere in the world.
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