The opening keynote of “The New Tech Revolution” by Keith Geddes is a short and forty-five minute guide to the new world of multimedia and audio technologies that are transforming newsrooms everywhere. Geddes, a veteran journalist who has been covering technology and journalism for more than 25 years, provides a clear picture of the changing face of the media business through his talk. The sheer scope of this book makes it an excellent reference for anyone who is planning a career in newsroom communications and/or media sales.
In the first segment of the book, Geddes traces the evolution of television from its historic beginnings as a simple visual display to what we now consider a “six o’clock news” on our digital screens. He then describes the evolution of radio through the advancement of satellite and later cable services that produced “fans” or portable devices that listeners could plug into their TV sets. A decade later, cable services went even further to add high definition (HD) broadcasting to their already comprehensive lineup of channels. Next, came the growth of “social media,” which meant that people could interact with each other on a much larger scale than ever before. Today, we refer to these platforms as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and they have changed the way news operations and local news outlets to report and provide content. In addition, Geddes identifies the role of search engines in delivering content to consumers, and the role news readers and producers have in delivering information to the public through online platforms such as blogs, podcasts, and video blogs.
In the second segment of the book, Geddes describes the new technologies used by news organizations and broadcast standards organizations to deliver news to audiences around the country and the world. He then describes the emerging new technologies that help news organizations communicate with their audiences. Newstech readers can benefit from this insightful conversation with a trusted authority on news technology. In particular, readers will gain valuable insight into the “incognito” mode that many news organizations use when conducting live interviews, where the reporter is unaware that he or she is being recorded. This covert recording method can help news organizations learn more about their audiences and gain an insider’s perspective on the public’s perspective of their businesses.
The third section of the book provides a series of case studies and hypothetical uses of edt and new technologies. It looks at how the emergence of it can benefit news operations, as well as describe some of the challenges newsrooms must face in embracing the new technologies. Case studies highlight Verizon Communications’ experiments with it, the CNN iptions that were preempted by competitors and the CBS Local efforts that were similarly preempted.
The final part of the book contains seven case studies of newsrooms and news tech initiatives that were successfully implemented by news organizations. Geddes provides the perspective of a seasoned journalist who has worked for a variety of networks and publications, and the practical experience that he has gained working with both younger audiences and more established newsrooms. In addition to discussing the practical implementation of it at his former newsroom, he also provides an engaging case study of how a digital newsroom helped launch Yahoo! Answers, and how he learned about the success of the initiative.
Overall, this book offers a useful and timely guide for newsrooms considering the adoption of new technologies. While it does not offer exhaustive details on all of the potential uses for it, it does provide a very clear and concise explanation of why newsrooms should consider adopting such a program. Furthermore, because it is written by an industry veteran, it offers a unique perspective on the practicality and benefits of implementing such a program. Because it is available in both hard copy and e-book format, panelists can also reference the text throughout their professional careers.