News 2.0: Can Traditional Newsers Reinvent Reporting Online?

If you wonder where, aside from the local tv station and the cable network, you might find yourself working in the next few years, look no further than Boston-based GlobalPost, the new international news site that officially launches tomorrow, but since you know me, I can get you in for a look around during the pre-launch party:  Just click here and tell ’em standupkid sent ya.  (And see if you don’t agree the site looks clean, visually arresting, and unique)

The site’s run by Phil Balboni, a guy who knows a lot about seeing the “next news idea” a few steps before the rest of us know what’s happening.  The former head of traditional Boston news station WCVB, Balboni created NECN (New England Cable News) when few would give a snowball’s chance to a 24 hour regional news channel.  Now he thinks he’s got a winning idea online with GlobalPost, which has attracted nearly 70top-name journalists, and placed them in 45 countries around the world.

Phil Balboni/Global Post

Phil Balboni/Global Post

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Balboni describes GP this way in an interview with PBS’s MediaShift:  “In my previous venture, we launched NECN.com as the first all-video website in 1997, and [it remained] an all-video website for the last 11 years,” Balboni said. “We were way ahead of our time, but it’s still evolving. [At GlobalPost] we can provide a full suite of content — well-told stories in text that are not too long, use of video. We want to do a lot of great photography and narrated slide shows. We will invite comments and interaction with our users.”

You won’t get rich working for GlobalPost, at least not right now, with correspondents signing long-term contracts (and in many cases keeping their day jobs) for a monthly stipend of about $1,000.00, according to Forbes.  Reporters are expected to file 800 word text stories, with photos and/or video, and to blog.

But Balboni’s had no shortage of blue chippers signing up.  Steve Safran, a VP at AR&D, told MediaShift, “(Balboni) founded NECN when the idea of a 24-hour local cable news channel was unproven and even derided.  He showed that he was willing to ride it out until it became a profitable venture.”  

If it means more places for talented journalists to tell stories, I say Rock On, Phil.

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1 Comment

Filed under Local News 2.0, Uncategorized

One response to “News 2.0: Can Traditional Newsers Reinvent Reporting Online?

  1. bay13kid

    It’s not so much whether news people can adapt to the web, but that no one is going to pay them anything to do it.

    Congrats to Balboni for taking a shot at the future, but what kind of crap are people going to shovel at him for $250 a week? And will the thing ever get enough traffic to make any money?

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