Depending on your point of view convergence means one of two things in journalism:
1) If you’re a journalist committed to using online to fulfil our sacred mission to explain, then it’s a chance to use all media platforms to tell a story, combining the expertise of writers, photographers and video journalists.
2) If you’re a media owner, it’s a chance to cut costs by making bags of journos redundant and loading extra workload onto the survivors so, as well as putting out tired, unimaginative papers (or programmes), they can pump out tired, unimaginative, low-quality video.
The problem with Route 2 is that Media Owner’s Online Property will then be filled with tired, unimaginative items that will die alone in the dark like all the other tired, unimaginative bits of content shoveled online by Media Owners’ Online Properties. And the readers will continue their long, slow (or long, fast) migration away from mainstream media.
But this is a good thing for the future of journalism.
Why? I’m beginning to notice that as many (but not all) news organisations undergo “convergence” (of the second kind, natch) the pioneers – the innovators who adopted online early – are being elbowed aside.
Why is this good? It means that the far-sighted journalists are being set free from the constraints of hide-bound employers – many set free with redundo cash in their wallets. The hope is that groups of them will come together and explore the models that will drive journalism forward in ways that are infinitely more fruitful than the “hey, when you’ve finished your shift, let’s do a vodcast” model.