Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Internet didn't kill the newsradio star

The world is changing.

People want information faster. They want it at arms reach everywhere. They want a convenient and comfortable exchange.

Tangentially, opulent people achieve to start their car engine in the winter without leaving the house. Right now, there are drive-thru liquor stores all throughout the South. In the future, I predict, we'll all live in an i-Pod house, have an i-Pod car and all of life's activities will be organized by Google. And we'll all be calm and there will be order and smiles will come easier.

New media is all about that. That fluid transfer of info at leisure. That all encompassing and engaging report or story that finds you at the precisely perfect time of your day ushering terror, sympathy, sadness or delight.

For Robin Lubbock it's his day job. He works to provide a more complete platform for WBUR radio to reach news consumers at home and at work -- not just when their on the road.

Of course allows listeners to tune in live and offers its radio content online as audio files, it also allows for interaction. There is a Listener Photo Project they made with flickr encouraging listeners to send in pictures, play with their Twitter and offers a message board to interact with the station about stories.

With the Web, there is much more opportunity to expand on a story that necessitates a visual component, Lubbock says. The station is now able to share photo slide shows and video.

Lubbock explains the management of the radio press corp and how the paradigm modified itself since the induction of the Internet.

"The analogy I give our reporters," Lubbock says, "is in the old days we expect to you to know certain things -- we give you a recorder and a microphone, and we expect you to be able to go out record some audio, get it on your microphone, get it into your recorder, get it on to your computer, cut it up into little segments, decide which bits your want to use for your story -- and then there comes a point in where it gets to complicated. ... At that point we provide what we call a B.R.T., a broadcast radio technician, who's an engineer, basically, and he can take the journalist and sit down at the table with cuts and make it sound beautiful."

Nowadays, the responsibilities are still shared, but are evolving.

"I expect the same on the Web, Lubbock says, "I expect you to be able to write a story. I expect you be able to use the tools, the tools like Wordpress or Blogger. We've all done it cuz' we all have Yahoo mail and Gmail -- we can all fill in a box and get published. I expect them to be able to take a picture and download it onto their machine. I would like them to look at them and decide which pictures are good and which are bad. But somewhere along that line we get to a point, where, for example, putting a slide show together, like the one I showed you, "From Jailhouse To Penthouse," the jail house and the penthouse, that's clearly way beyond the charge for the everyday journalist. So we would add an engineer at that point."

I took the photo of Robin Lubbock with my lil' Kodak Easyshare.

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