Last week, two lucky Access NYers spent some time in SoHo to check out the 5th annual Internet Week, a weeklong festival of sorts which aims to celebrate New York’s robust internet industry and community. Attracting a wide array of attendees, from tech media to entrepreneurs and a dash of PR professionals, the events certainly offered a little bit of something for everyone, including panels, workshops, interactive sponsorship booths and more.
Our agenda included a number of panels on viral videos, “Big Data,” mobile innovations and the changing landscape of the “Anti-Lady Mag” however the panel that we found to be most interesting from a PR standpoint was the keynote from two of The New York Times’ heavy hitters, Brian Stelter and David Carr. As seen in the New York Times documentary “Page One,” the two brought their new and old media experiences to the table to share insights on the changing media landscape through comedic banter and noteworthy anecnotes. Below are just a few of the pros’ key insights on some of today’s hottest topics in media:
On the Convergence of Old and New Media: Carr admits that there is a fundamental difference between how he and Stelter function journalistically, most notably in the way they utilize technology for reporting or enhancing the news. While he calls Stelter a digital native, he identifies himself as a digital adopter.
On the Battle to Break the News: Both Stelter and Carr admit that journalists are the only ones who really keep score of who is the first to break the news and called the victory a “fleeting point of pride.” What is often more impactful is not who breaks the news, but rather who “kidnaps the news,” and takes it to a new level.
On Using Twitter for News: Twitter can be used as a complement to news, but does not have the capacity to replace it yet. As Carr points out, it is not realistic to capture the accuracy, standards and reputation of the New York Times reporting in just 140 characters. He also noted that Twitter is a “chat room” for journalists, saying retweets are not necessarily a reliable metric for their stories as it’s essentially saying “you and your friends like your stories.” For this reason, he is opposed to using Twitter for breaking the news unless there is absolutely no other way to do so. *Did you know: Once every four seconds there is a New York Times story being tweeted out?
On the Prestige of Print: Print stories have a larger impact and can “move the needle” more easily, says Carr. They still pick up a sense of luster that web stories have yet to match. Carr says that what someone reads is a key part of their “intellectual jewelry.” With the increase of tablet and web based media consumption, Carr notes that he can no longer distinguish a Journal reader from a Times reader, only just that they have $400 to $500 to spend on a tablet. Sooner or later he said that reading a physical newspaper or magazine will be “retro, like wearing a bowler hat.” Carr also compared a good hearty magazine to a candy bar, “delicious to open, good to consume.”
- Ashley Barrett & Heather Norton