Teaching Examples

Mojos of Fort Myers, Florida
December 4, 2006, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What’s happening at one Gannett newspaper today:

Myron, 27, is a reporter for the Fort Myers News-Press and one of its fleet of mobile journalists, or “mojos.” The mojos have high-tech tools — ThinkPads, digital audio recorders, digital still and video cameras — but no desk, no chair, no nameplate, no land line, no office. They spend their time on the road looking for stories, filing several a day for the newspaper’s Web site, and often for the print edition, too. Their guiding principle: A constantly updated stream of intensely local, fresh Web content — regardless of its traditional news value — is key to building online and newspaper readership.

Source: “A Newspaper Chain Sees Its Future, and It’s Online and Hyper-Local,” by Frank Ahrens, The Washington Post, Dec. 4, 2006; Page A01

Some of the issues raised by these “I work in my car” practices were covered in this post about quality vs. quantity in the brave new world of newspaper reporters shooting video for the Web.

I think the News-Press is brave to try this mojo strategy. I just hope that they keep close tabs on the outcomes and adjust the practices as needed to serve their community well. If it seems not to be working well, I hope they make incremental changes to the processes in place — and don’t just say, “Oh, well, that didn’t work either!” — and cancel it.

No matter what you might think about the mojo idea, you ought to consider that cutting it off before they take the time and care to tweak it would be the stupidest move of all.

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