The state of “convergence” in America’s newsrooms

Researchers at Rutgers and Arizona State universities surveyed hundreds of broadcast and print newsrooms about their convergence efforts in 2008. According to an article in the Convergence Newsletter, they found that about half of respondents had some sort of “cross-platform partnership.”

What’s more interesting are the researchers findings regarding efforts and attitudes toward newsroom Web sites.

News outlets are going it alone in their Web efforts, even when that encroaches on another medium’s traditional turf. Almost 89 percent of the newspaper respondents said video – traditionally television’s bailiwick – was produced for their sites by print and Web staffs with no broadcast involvement. Eighty-two percent of the newspapers using newscasts on their sites report producing them with no broadcast involvement. Ninety percent of the TV respondents who said they used text stories from other than wire services on their Web sites wrote them without newspaper involvement.

In addition, the researchers found more evidence that newspapers are trying hard to take the “video advantage” away from television stations.

Almost 66 percent of the newspaper respondents said photographers for their newspaper shot video, more than 60 percent said reporters shot video, and 41 percent reported their papers employed videographers.  

What’s potentially more troublesome for the future of broadcast outlets is what the research uncovered about attitudes toward “working for the Web.”

Most respondents said they did work for both publication platforms. Print journalists, however, were nearly 10 times more likely than broadcast respondents to support the most pro-Web vision of journalistic work, which held that “essentially the whole staff is focused on the Web first.” 

Can someone tell us why?

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