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Internal convergance

Having trouble persuading your peers of the value of this digital stuff? You aren’t the only one.

Trade journalist Paul Conley has come across some pretty entrenched views:

Consider the editor who told me he wouldn't think about providing headlines for mobile devices because "no reasonable person needs more than a PC to stay connected."

Or consider the reporter, told by his boss to include links in his copy, who insists that his publication "has to hire a specialist to do hyperlinks for me."

Or consider the managing editor who told me she'd fight any attempt by her staff to launch new online products because she liked her job and her schedule "just the way it is."

Sound familiar?

The temptation may be to leave the hard-headed behind and go for the fresh young team. There are plenty out there. New journalist Meranda Watling is one.

Thing is, the industry is being flooded with “kids” like me. Bright-eyed and ready for anything, willing to take everything on and to become an expert on whatever you put on the budget with our name beside it. Willing to learn. If there’s someone there to teach us.

And that’s the point. Will there be anyone around to teach her? Conley starts his post with:

Many of the journalists I know have adopted a strange, delusional vision of their value. I could say that they are in a state of denial. But that hardly describes the sorts of things I hear from people.

Rather, I think it's fair to say that these folks -- veteran journalists with years of experience -- have moved from denial into fantasy.

They've gone from being stubborn about adding new skills to being rigidly opposed to any change in their job description. And they cannot see the damage they are doing to themselves, their peers and their publications.

Does a digital editor have a role in changing this mindset? I think they do.

Traditionally bright-eyed and jaded journo don’t often mix but digital editors are in an enviable position at the moment of having the influence to be able to pull together those different generations.

So why not try a little internal convergence. Everyone may thank you for it.


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