Savannah Swix

‘Innovation’ is the magic word

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Bright ideas. Creative Commons.

By Savannah Swix 

One of the major things stressed in “Breaking News: Mastering the art of disruptive innovation in journalism” and “How to get Startup Ideas” is the concept of innovation as a driving force behind change with particular reference to news organizations and the evolving needs of their audiences.

I found it interesting that both articles discussed the importance of perspective and individuality when it comes to startups and creating something new or simply transforming something old into something new. In “How to get Startup Ideas,” the main message is that a good idea comes from something that is missing from your own life in order to determine what kind of services or products might also be useful to others.

For example, I recently subscribed to Hello Fresh, a delivery service that sends you the ingredients, recipes and cooking instructions for meals that you can master in around 30 minutes. Before I subscribed, I had been looking for a way to spend less time at the grocery store, waste less money on special ingredients for recipes I might only use once and still eat healthy and well-balanced meals. The fact that someone else saw an opportunity in this need and made it into a fantastically successful business is incredible to me. It solves a common problem for people, like me, who are busy and just need a little extra help in the kitchen.

However, for news organizations looking for inventive ways to remain relevant in an increasingly popular digital world – as we learned from the Pew Research Center article we read last week – there’s a lot more at stake for them. Those organizations have to be strategic when thinking about how to move forward with change because they have to consider their “legacy,” as the Nieman Reports article called it. While there might not be anything wrong with their organization as it is, they have to keep in mind that younger audiences, including myself, are selectively determining the future of media. We are finding our information in other places, like online via our mobile devices including cell phones and tablets.

I really enjoyed that the “Breaking News” article talked about how some news organizations are adapting and developing teams of professionals who understand the digital world and can help to capitalize on the changing times and create new processes for them to follow. The article specifically discusses The New York Times and its “Interactive Newsroom Technologies group.” The article states that the NYT’s group “continues to create new processes so the Times can more quickly develop better products around data journalism and innovative visual storytelling, rather than simply posting old-world newspaper articles online.”

I think the addition of these teams and collaboration with specialists who study trends and techniques for digital success is exciting and important for moving forward in journalism. We are seeing these organizations come out with new ways to tell stories and I love that. It’s a new part of the industry that I would be thrilled to join.

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