Writing for a New Media
But it does mean that there's going to be a premium on ability, quality, and learning to use and mix new combinations of media in ways that no one ever considered. Text will have to call out to video to integrate it into the point someone is making. Video will need links to background and amplification that can't happen in that medium. Audio can provide an intimate narration as something looks as images and graphical devices that neither video nor text can provide. All of them will be glued together in new ways. Look at the links I mention in the BNET piece, or listen to NPR's Planet Money experiments in presenting financial information or how OpenSecrets.org illuminates campaign finance information. Not all the tries will work, but some will. Those who want a spot in the future must become part of the attempts to forge a new approach to what they've done in the past. Those new to the endeavor have one big advantage of not having the same number of fixed associations. But those with experience, if they can break free of even some of the assumptions, can add immense depth.
Maybe your efforts will involve merging analysis, opinion, reporting, and commentary in what I'm finding to be an exciting and liberating format in blogs. Or you might find yourself reaching for a video camera, or dusting off pens and drawing paper. Don't assume what technology you need to use or what the results might be. We all have time to ourselves, so invest some of it to try something different. As my drawing improves, I'm hoping to start incorporating it in various ways in my work. If you're a musician, consider composing something that supports the emotional mood of a report and running it in the background. Or create a photo essay loaded with linking hotspots that offer context for the image that someone is seeing. Maybe the old media won't be willing to shake loose, but it's the glory of working for yourself. Try something different. Who knows? You might end up creating a new genre.