Editor’s Note: Our sister publication Nieman Reports is out with its summer 2011 issue, “Links That Bind Us,” which focuses on the role community plays in journalism. We’re highlighting a few entries that connect with subjects we follow at the Lab, but go read the whole issue. In this piece, Steven Rosenbaum writes about the increasingly important role of journalists as curators.
Thinking back, I’ve always considered news as a dialogue rather than a monologue. I’ve preferred conversations to speeches. That said, I don’t often hang out on street corners or in neighborhood bars partaking in random conversations about the weather or the Mets. I like my conversations curated.
While it’s easy — and tempting — to think of what’s happening to news as the result of technology, my earliest memories of what we now think of as interactive news and social media reside in a single phone line and a Radio Shack answering machine.
This memorable moment took place in 1992 when I was the executive producer of a newsmagazine called “Broadcast: New York,” a weekly half-hour solidly reported news show that was syndicated across New York State. Most of the networks were experiencing an explosion of their own newsmagazine shows. One day as we were trying to come up with original stories and new topics, I exploded in frustration in front of my producers: “We’re doing the same damn stories as everyone else. We’re out of original ideas.”