Collaboration is the key to life

3165988499_256af0084a It is no secret traditional media is struggling. By no means will I join the bandwagon and claim journalism and all traditional media is at death’s door. Hogwash. I enjoy the way Kathleen Parker described the industry’s transition:

The mainstream media aren’t really dead, of course. The industry has merely transmogrified, splintered into a billion little reflections of its former self. One-fifth of the world’s nearly 7 billion people are now Web-capable – all reporting, opining, interacting, Twittering, digging and blogging.

This splintering has triggered a re-imagination of journalism and creation of the Fifth Estate. Reflection is sorely needed with a healthy dose of experimentation.

Despite all this, those who remain in the newsroom, particularly in print, evince a stubborn optimism — a sense of mission to prove what they consider a calling still has resonance and in time will find financial footing. Certainly there is skepticism on Wall Street, from the public, in some cases from owners. Yet experimentation is proving liberating, even if some experiments make news people queasy. News organizations, or at least some, have become places of risk and innovation and feel growing connection with audiences, something we could not have said a few years ago.” –State of News Media 2008, An Annual Report on American Journalism

One of these experiments is backpack journalism. Hat-tip to Robert French (@rdfrench) for tweeting about WTSP-TV Uses Skype to Broadcast Live Shot. I shared this article to friend and Executive Producer of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Business Television, Julie Leenders. I got so excited about the use of Skype and coolness factor that I forgot what this business is really all about…collaboration. Julie clued me in.

Julie said, it was an interesting article, but the journalist sounded a bit self-centered from her statements about having to “compromise” on her shots.

I think one of the best things I like about this industry is how you always have to collaborate to get things done, so you always have at least one other set of eyes that give a new perspective.

Collaboration is the key to life in the communications business. Kathleen Parker says it best,

What, meanwhile, would Twitterers and bloggers tweet and blog about if news organizations no longer provided them the meat on which most chew?

So, how are we, the Fifth Estate, helping and collaborating with the Fourth Estate? What are your contributions?

This past Monday, I joined #Journchat for the first time. Definitely an experience not to be missed. While the content is overwhelming, there are golden nuggets to be found in the search data and great relationships with journalists and pr pros awaiting to be forged. 

Public relations, just like journalism, has its share of problems, but neither is going away any time soon. But perhaps we should take a good long look in the splintered fragments of our communications industry to find new ways of collaboration…the key to life.

(Photo courtesy leonardosouza.)

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