Today's Frontlines Journalist





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The 21st century has presented a number of serious challenges to the news media industry. Traditional hard-copy media such as newspapers and magazines are being replaced with an interactive internet-based format. Declining circulation, decreased ad revenue and the explosive rate at which the public can access information has forced journalists and news reporters to adapt their work style and adhere to a more digital atmosphere.

One way this is being accomplished is through video and web conferencing. Providing news media professionals with innovative solutions to meet the demands and challenges brought forth by an evolving industry, this technology opens the door to many opportunities. Here are a few ways video and web conferencing solutions are being put into action:

Manage on-the-fly web meetings with remote staff members - This gives industry professionals a hassle-free way to efficiently collaborate and share ideas with media relation teams who might not be local.

Host interactive live video chat sessions, open to the public - When a journalist releases important news, opening up a virtual meeting room allows one-on-one interaction between the journalist and the public. This allows the journalist to build long-term relationships with their readers.

Maintain active communications with sources and media contacts - The news media industry is a rapidly changing environment; when news happens it is important reporters have immediate access to their connections. By removing the need to travel, web-based video conferences allow reporters to "virtually" be first on scene.

Train junior staffers remotely - Most news organizations are based out of one major city but they have many affiliate offices spread throughout multiple locations. Online meetings allow these organizations to conduct training sessions with new staff members, complete with the ability to share files and PowerPoint presentations.

Conduct investigative journalism interviews - The economy has pressured news organizations to cut expenses. Funds that used to be allotted for reporters to travel and carry-on investigative interviews are no longer there. With a simple click of a mouse, editors and staff reporters have access to the world, without feeling financial pressure.

Meet the demands of a 21st Century audience - In general, the readers and viewers of today are media-makers in their own way and technology has provided them access to an unlimited amount of information. Video and web conferencing allows the media to connect with the public by hosting online "Meeting of the Mind" sessions. These collective meetings give editorial staff members a chance to explore readership demands and generate stories based on public interest.

Broadcast live interviews - Web-based video conferencing allows news organizations and talk shows to conduct interviews with multiple sources at the same time, without incurring the cost of flying interviewees to one general location. A talk show host in Los Angeles can conduct a live in-person interview with both a New York based corporate executive and a San Francisco based business analyst, while streaming it live to their audience.

Participate in national and international press conferences - Journalists can participate in national or international press conference from anywhere without leaving their homes, offices or even their countries. With a web-cam, microphone and internet connection, journalists can present their questions to the speaker as if they were both sitting in the same room.

Video and web conferencing gives news media organizations the ammunition needed to stay at the forefront of an information rich society. By creating engaging ways for audiences to receive news, industry professionals are discovering that the conversion from a traditional news format to a modern interactive news format can be an extremely opportunistic and exciting process.