Thursday, 29 September 2011
THE NEWS DIAMOND: A KENYAN NEWSROOM EXPERIENCE
The News Diamond model comes highly recommended for the 21st century newsroom. It still being an uncharted territory in this part of the world, I set out to find what new experience the model offers, within the confines of a Kenyan newsroom.
In the morning hours, shortly after been assigned to do a TV news story about plans to legally allow Kenya's intelligence officers to eavesdrop on private telephone conversations, I sent out an Alert in NTV's Facebook and Twitter account, with the aim of soliciting comments on the topic.
And the almost instant response, with some very compelling arguments for or against spy agents being allowed to tap people's phones, made me realise how involving the online community can favourably shape a news story, in its formative stages.
It is a pity that the NTV website is still an old-fashioned static one and so for the Draft stage, I wrote a quick-fire blog post that was hosted here in my personal blog, anchored by twitter comments harvested by a Storify article on the same subject, which I had earlier published. This elicited more comments from the blogosphere.
At this point, which was well into the afternoon hours, I could not do a proper Article or news Package, as recommended in the News Diamond model, because I had to schedule and follow up on TV interviews with a couple of experts.
I had in the meantime again linked my blog post on the subject to the NTV Facebook page, thanking the followers for their comments and inviting them to tune in that evening to watch the TV story. This again spawned more reactions on the subject.
And later that evening when I did the TV news piece, I had hoped to incorporate some of the rich online comments into the story to be aired, but was unable to because of time constraints. I did give it a mention though.
The Analysis or Reflection and Context stages thus were all hinged on that television story. And as for interactivity, I can quote the SMS, telephone and twitter messages I received after the story was transmitted.
Customisation stage could be covered by having the news clip posted on Youtube, and this blog post, which should possibly enable users to tailor-fit the information contained in my story, according to their respective needs.
And that is my energy-sapping but wonderful experience of the News Diamond model in a Kenyan newsroom.