If you're a working journalist, you need to read this book. It makes clear the powerful potential of the Internet for journalists. At every turn, every story meeting, every meeting with newsroom bosses and editors and definitely every journalism conference these days, new media is the "God Term." `It will revolutionize what we do,' rings the constant refrain. I get it, I get it... or so, I thought. (Sure, the Internet is useful for tracking down someone's bankruptcy records or finding out how much their house costs when you're under a tight deadline.) But what Charlie Beckett is proposing is so much more.
Super Media is a detailed plan for doing journalism better, doing it smarter, while, most importantly, gaining back the respect journalists have lost in recent years. Beckett made me - a proud "old media" practitioner - reevaluate a lot of my conventional wisdom. In clear and concise language, Becket outlines how journalists - and media organizations - can harness the Internet to make their work better and more meaningful.
He makes clear how journalists can engage audiences and readers craving serious journalism by adopting new technology and "new media" to re-connect with our audiences. He provides striking examples of how the public, when news breaks, for example, can build on the good work of journalists by providing eyewitness accounts, photos, videos, tips, etc. But it's much more than just getting so-called viewer content. It's about journalist becoming, what he calls, the "facilitator rather than the gatekeeper." Translation: it's time to break down the walls journalists have built up around ourselves to keep the people we're supposed to be serving at bay. Beckett's book is impressive. It challenges reporters and editors to save "journalism so it can save the world" by embracing "network journalism" to become "SuperMedia. Up, up and away, I say!