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Briggs Ch. 4 February 15, 2011

Posted by acusumano in : Assignments , trackback

In this Briggs chapter about microblogging, the first site that came to mind was Discographies, a clever Twitter feed that reviews a musician’s body of work in 140 characters. It’s a concept so simple, so appealing and frankly, so maddening that years of hard work and transformation can be boiled down to a few sentences. But that’s what journalism has to be these days.

It’s fair to say that our collective attention spans have reduced over time. It’s not our fault; it’s technology–there’s too much of it for us to focus on one thing anymore, unless it’s really captivating–or more importantly, really short.

But here’s where it all comes together. Remember that talk about open-sourced reporting in chapter 3? Your readers are not going to be giving you manifestos (and if they are, you probably should be forwarding their comments to the FBI). Their content will be brief because that’s what they are looking for.

Take a look at this story from EW.com. It reports that Aaron Sorkin will appear on the NBC hit “30 Rock” later this season. The story is pretty short, especially given the background information that makes this an especially intriguing event. Indeed, one has to venture to the comments section to be reminded of Sorkin’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” his dramatic venture that premiered the same year as “30 Rock” with essentially the same concept that initially triumphed over the creatively unstable Tina Fey show, then bombed as Fey’s picked up steam.

Without comments, the main draw of this story goes to waste. It’s a slight on EW’s part, but a credit to collaborative journalism.

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