From a piece I am writing:

Now to build the new products. I use both those words advisedly. I would prefer “service” over “product” so as to make clear that we aren’t manufacturing and marketing a finished thing; we are helping people do what they want to do. But “product development” is the job title already well established at the core of reinventing news organizations and so I will use it. And I hesitate to say “build,” for I am not suggesting for a moment that every newspaper in America create new apps for every community and use. Building a new service could mean anything from assigning a reporter to a community, to creating a Facebook page, to scheduling a series of events, to creating a curriculum. When technology is required, I will always suggest starting with a search for whatever is already available. Some argue that news companies need to become technology companies to compete with Silicon Valley and survive. I am not convinced that we are capable of learning these skills after decades of demonstrating that we’re bad at technology. On the other hand, The New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and other large news organizations boast sizable staffs of programmers and they are producing much good work (though I do cringe when I hear most media companies think they are so special they need to develop their own content management systems). When I say “build” I could simply mean “start.”

Written by

Blogger & prof at CUNY’s Newmark J-school; author of Geeks Bearing Gifts, Public Parts, What Would Google Do?, Gutenberg the Geek

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store