The medium is the masses

The striking feature of the projects for the New Voices grants for innovative journalism projects is the diversity of the media even more than the diversity of voices selected: blog, wiki, radio, datacasting, VOIP, and a web-based “wire” service. There were no podcasts, audio or video, on the list. I’m not sure how they missed that particular bandwagon.
J-Lab, The Institute for Interactive Journalism, selected the ten projects from 185 applicants to receive $17,000 grants for innovative community news.
Bloggers, and others who have been watching them push the boundaries of news collection and distribution are beginning to explore the use of other media to do their reporting. As with the blog revolution, they are exploiting the infrastructure that is already in place.
There’s nothing technically new about these ideas, and the systems they’re using are relatively mature. What’s different is the way they’re being used, and who’s using them. I anticipate that services like Google Video and YouTube will become repositories for primary news materials, along with amusing dogs and unfortunate accidents.
The biggest revolution here may be that news producers will choose the media (words, pictures, video, animation, audio, podcast, whatever) that is the best way to tell a story, rather than shoving every story into whatever medium happens to pay their salaries.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.