Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Now and When Journalists - creative journalism

Everyone talks about the "Now and "When" journalists as if there's a magic elixir connecting the two.

Young savvy versus old fogey
Tech heads versus the paper toolers
The Yes-I cans versus the No you should not.

There is no science to this other than old fashion grease monkey hard work. All the aforementioned are fallacies in their own right.

However, met with a blistering array of new tech tools, it's easy to put off the learning process and say "when I have time"..

Multimedia for instance is more than re-arranging the furniture to disseminate more of the same via other platforms - a practice enviable in itself.

We flock to the now journalists because they offer both substance, innovation and food for thought.

And in conversation we soon come to realise they plough a different approach in thinking, often borrowing ideas from different disciplines. Roger Martin's How Successful Leaders Think plays to this idea.

Creative Journalism

One of the exercises I run in Video Journalism training is the primacy dump.

Get hold of an assignment and through sheer gut instinct figure out how you might execute the job. Then discard the idea, and again, and again.

There's nothing wrong with it, but it came too easy. The more we're forced to think beyond our own comforts, the greater variation we might introduce into production of the story.

When you're back from that course on "creative thinking" imbibed new methodologies, been ridiculed and thought why bother, see whether you're better informed at tackling the story another way.

I came to realise the value of working multiples on a story working alongside an advertising mentor, John Staton, at re-active.net

It is easy to turn from a now journalists to a when, particularly when cynicism sets in.

Video is the richer media and there's just so much you can do with other than talking heads, but you'll still have to know why you're using it. If not even the most enthusiastic of now journos can turn sour.

Exchanging ideas with some senior journalists last week, one of them exclaimed his company hadn't had that conversation yet: the what are we doing and why?

And sometimes unless you've brought someone to shake things up [a consultant/ expert etc.] it's difficult to know where to start.

But try we must, experiment we should, and fail every so often we must not be afraid of.

If you're not a high consumer of news, [read Blog - Hugh Hewitt], can still find time to blog after a knackering day, and not afraid to experiment, then small wonder you're in touch with the Now, and age has little to do with it.

No comments: