Steve Safran – Lost Remote

Posted on 08. Oct, 2007 by in Uncategorized

Your work in networked/citizen/collaborative journalism.
I’ve been writing about the topic since 2000 and have been evangelizing its message since before we even knew what to call it. (Do we know what to call it yet?) At Lost Remote, Cory Bergman and I have been “blogging since before blogging was called ‘blogging'” about networked journalism and convergence and we have been among its more vocal supporters. Also people have yelled at me a lot about this topic, which tells me I must be on to something.

As a consultant now with AR&D, Terry Heaton and I work with traditional media outlets to develop networked journalism programs. It’s working. Local media companies are hearing the call and it’s amazing to see it when the pieces fall into place. The resistance is slowly crumbling and when it does, wonderful acts of journalism happen.

What are your goals?
– To see true convergence, not just in products, but in the information we gather and distribute.

– To see an end to “Vs. thinking.” It’s not about “new” vs. “old,” “us” vs. “them,” “blogs” vs. “MSM” or any such nonsense. It’s about the public and their ability to get the information they want and need.
– Seeing a time when nobody needs convincing about the web.
– Seeing a vast improvement in the quality of local news.
– Easy access to good beer.

Notable achievements?
Helping to start the AR&D Media 2.0 division so we can evangelize the word full time and travel to stations around the country.

Being a part of Lost Remote and helping to document the changes in our industry since 2000.

Being the country’s first full time, local on-air web personality at NECN (2000 – 2006).

Fathering three kids, being married for 14 years, and being at Game One of the 2004 World Series.

Lesson you’ve learned (including mistakes you’ve made)
My rule of seminars: If you find yourself in a room full of journalists who agree with each other, leave.

There are five distinct stages a company goes through when faced with a disruptive technology:
1. Deny that it’s a problem
2. Try to sue it out of existence
3. Develop an inferior version with lots of DRM
4. Bag that, partner with the disruptive technology
5. Brag about the success, claim the idea was yours all along

Some people get really pissed off when you talk about change. The more confident you are, the angrier they get. I don’t know why this is, but I have learned it. So I’m passing it along.

Nobody wants to be the first to change a business that’s still making money. I tried really hard to convince people journalism was changing and didn’t get very far until I started talking about the money.

When you talk money, talk about now money, not money in the future. Nobody believes projections.

Someone once wrote to Lost Remote that I needed to be fired. As Managing Editor, I wrote them, I would seriously warn myself but probably couldn’t replace myself at the same pay rate. I could never imagine writing an outlet demanding someone get fired because of their opinion. On the other hand, I don’t have to read me.

We’re all basically guessing here. But as long as your guess is based upon facts and reason, and not emotion or wishful thinking, it will be a good guess.

When you want to increase your pageviews, write about Michael Rosenblum.


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