The “new newsroom” is being created one reporter at a time

(Cross-posted to Nieman Journalism Lab)

What does the journalist of the future look like?

PR whiz Steve Rubel says he looks a lot like Peter Abraham, who is not some vaporware demo from 2015, but a flesh-and-blood reporter covering the Yankees spring training camp in Florida.

Abraham is the Yankees beat writer for the Journal News in Westchester county (a NYC suburb). According to Burrelles Luce, it’s the 94th largest newspaper in the US with a daily circ of 100,000 readers.

Abraham is on the scene in Tampa where the Yankees are training and he’s doing it all – in addition to filing regular reports for the paper that appear in print. Here’s an inventory of his social media footprint….

First, he has a blog with a full-text feed that includes several posts/day and hundreds of comments/day from readers. It dates back to 2006.

In addition, Abraham has a Facebook group that has about 1600 members.

He is posting photos from spring training using his iPhone. Note the gear the others are using by comparison.

There is a podcast up on iTunes that right now is updated daily with audio.

Finally, today he was using both CoverItLive and Mogulus to have a live video/text chat with readers.

While Abraham is still a bit of an Edge Case, what’s really heartening is that, with each passing day, stories like this become less amazing, as they become more common. What examples have you seen in your market or nationally of journalists redefining the profession?

Will paid content work? Two cautionary tales from 2004

Given the recent secret memos and TIME cover stories, the topic of “paid content” has once again grabbed the spotlight, offering at least a slim hope of revenue redemption to some newspaper people — largely on the print side, but with some notable digital advocates as well.

For those of us who went down these paths previously, there’s definitely a bit of Groundhog Day to the increased media thumb-sucking, but at least this time some of the people doing that thumb-sucking are in better positions to make actual change. At the very least, ideas are bouncing around and occasionally creating new synapses. (At the very worst, of course, we’re polishing the glassware behind the bar on Deck Three of the pride of the White Star Line.)

But can we learn anything from paid content attempts in the past? After all, this has been tried at varying levels before. Until The New York Times opens the books on its mothballed Times Select service, which kept certain content — mainly columnists and archives — behind the pay wall, these two examples, from 2003-2005, will have to serve as examples:

(Continue reading on Nieman Journalism Lab)