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The Media Martini: Citizen Journalism, Digital Helps Keep Print Alive, Sandy Inspires Media Innovation

The big story this week was Hurricane Sandy – and we hope everyone stayed safe.  Here’s what else we were talking about in media:

1. Citizen Journalism Can Play A Powerful Role In Breaking News

Social Media and Citizen Journalism Can Play Important Role in Breaking NewsLance Armstrong’s fall from grace was a huge news story, even for those who don’t follow cycling.  But The New York Times reports that “for the most part, the journalists who seemed to know the most about professional cycling told us the least.”  The information that led to his downfall was kept alive by the web and social media – particularly small cycling blog NY Velocity, which was beholden to no advertisers and had no access to lose (many were unwilling to speak against Armstrong, since “everyone in the industry depended on him or was afraid of him.”)  In this case, a blog – built by nonjournalists – was the only source that wasn’t “afraid to print the truth.”

2.  You Need Digital To Keep Print Alive

Conde Nast logoCondé Nast CEO Charles Townsend says print is not dying, but it may not be able to survive on its own.  You can still grow your print business, he says, “but you can’t do it without a really substantial digital presence. It’s really managing a brand as opposed to a magazine.”  He sees print’s decline more as a result of market conditions than about the move towards digital.  The introduction of digital takes pressure off the print business, but doesn’t replace it. Townsend’s prediction? “When this economy recovers…the print business is going to be on fire.”

3. Sandy Inspires Media Innovation

Photo on Instacane from allisoncmeier via InstagramGoogle creates an interactive “crisis map” for Sandy, hosts a Google Hangout for meteorologists to discuss the potential impact of the storm, and The Wall Street Journal curates a Live Stream of Sandy updates, with tweets, photos, slide shows, live blogs and staff reports.  Instagram becomes more of a “legitimate journalistic platform” with users posting 10 pictures per second to the #sandy hashtag, Time curates an Instagram slideshow, and Instacane – “the story of hurricane Sandy told through Instagram” – is born.  Emedia covers how media will adapt to new platforms to provide content in times of crisis, and what happens when even the media (Huffington Post, Gawker, BuzzFeed) goes down.

Let us know what you were reading this week – and whether you were affected by the storm. If so, were there any particular media sites or innovations that helped you find shelter, news, or reconnect with family in the danger zone?