Sitting with the Washington Post

I’m sitting with Dan Balz, political journalist for the Washington Post. He wrote this story of the events this morning.

I am getting back to looking at how technology is changing campaigns. Getting back to my geek roots, as it were.

He’s been at the Post since 1978.

Technology is radically changing campaigns, he says. First he’s no longer writing just for paper. Dan told me he’s updated his story several times in the past few hours, plus he’s been on radio and TV interviews. The Post wants him to produce podcasts and video blogs too, or look for opportunities in bringing other media onto the Post’s pages.

He’s typing furiously into a Dell laptop — is now rewriting his article for the newspaper that everyone will get in the morning — and has a Verizon Wireless card.

The world of politics is changing, he told me, because now a candidate must give dozens of interviews to tons of different people with small audiences. The age of talking to one guy who had a massive audience is probably over. Even if you leave blogs out of the story even the mainstream press is seeing its audiences split up into smaller and smaller niches with more and more pieces. I remember back to journalism school where I saw pictures of the Presidential press corps back in the 1960s: there were only a handful of journalists. Today, even for news like today, dozens of different camera crews show up, along with dozens more of print journalists, photographers, everyday citizens, and radio journalists.

One other thing that we chatted about is business models. He knows his organization is under pressure to not only grow audience (he says the Washington Post is read now more than ever, but increasingly only online) but also figure out how to make money with its increasingly online audience. He’s not the only journalist to talk with me about that lately — seems the entire industry is focused on how to make money to continue to fund content.

Anyway, I’ll try to get back to tech a little bit. Ahh, Apple’s in trouble over stock option back dating. That’s a tough issue to chew on, but then ripping off investors isn’t exactly sexy.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Sitting with the Washington Post

  1. How can the Post grow it’s audience? Simple, steal some of the Wash Times thunder away, go both sides, instead of the usual chummy-leak Beltway warmed-over wolfpack ‘Washington Week’ booooredom, of which the late 70s era Balz is quite the poster boy for.

    Breaking new ground? Covering the journalists covering the spin? I call that a feedback loop. 😉

    Like

  2. How can the Post grow it’s audience? Simple, steal some of the Wash Times thunder away, go both sides, instead of the usual chummy-leak Beltway warmed-over wolfpack ‘Washington Week’ booooredom, of which the late 70s era Balz is quite the poster boy for.

    Breaking new ground? Covering the journalists covering the spin? I call that a feedback loop. 😉

    Like

  3. Actually the Post is one of the better papers when it comes to use of blogs. Most reporters there also blog, and stories online have Technorati back links to blogs that cite them.

    Like

  4. Actually the Post is one of the better papers when it comes to use of blogs. Most reporters there also blog, and stories online have Technorati back links to blogs that cite them.

    Like

  5. It seems to me that there could be a serious burnout issue where media outlets are expecting their employees to be “always on.” It would be great to get more behind the scenes info regarding the types of technology these guys are using to stay one step in front of each other.

    Like

  6. It seems to me that there could be a serious burnout issue where media outlets are expecting their employees to be “always on.” It would be great to get more behind the scenes info regarding the types of technology these guys are using to stay one step in front of each other.

    Like

  7. The New Tube for Politics

    WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 04, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) — Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network (CHBN) is the latest creation in the world of Internet multimedia but with a slight twist. It caters to the narrow but diverse audience of political candidates, elected officials, political pundits, advocacy groups, political junkies, and government agencies. Created to leverage new uses of video technology for the political community, CHBN allows its users to inform, educate, advocate, influence, and campaign at the click of a mouse.

    David Livingston, a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and the site’s founder, says: “CHBN is a non-partisan website that serves as a free and powerful communication tool for people and organizations in the political community. It’ll not only serve as an important tool for candidates and others, but it will also be entertaining and informative for our visitors.”

    “We feel confident that this is where politics on the internet is heading,” Livingston says. “We wanted to be the first to provide a professional, politically themed online network. Members can create and upload their own videos or upload their existing media to give it additional exposure. Elected officials can use the site to give weekly video updates to stay connected to his or her constituents. In addition, individuals and advocacy groups can broadcast legislative proposals or viewpoints on an issue, and can receive feedback through CHBN’s ‘rating’ and ‘comment’ feature. Unlike television, this tool allows members to immediately gauge viewer interest while complementing online fundraising efforts.”

    “More and more people are getting their political news online. We think the timing is right for CHBN. In the next year, we plan on ramping up our efforts to form partnerships with various private and government content providers. Our goal is to create a wealth of information for our visitors to benefit their organization, cause, etc. We want to include as many committee hearings, historical videos, interviews, debates, speeches, political documentaries, and commercials as we can. This will keep the site interesting, educational, and entertaining.”

    Experts agree that American political campaigns are currently undergoing a period of change, due to changing

    campaign-finance laws, increased use of the internet, and the apparently declining effectiveness of television advertising. As the cost for running for elected office and influencing public opinion gets more expensive, it is likely that this type of service will grow in popularity.

    Use of CHBN for politicians, associations, and others is bound only by one’s imagination. Livingston concludes: “This type of technology can give a polished yet financially challenged candidate from anywhere in America a chance to get noticed, get on the radar screen, and get elected. It helps even the playing field for those candidates and organizations without having to pay the price.”

    Like

  8. The New Tube for Politics

    WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 04, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) — Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network (CHBN) is the latest creation in the world of Internet multimedia but with a slight twist. It caters to the narrow but diverse audience of political candidates, elected officials, political pundits, advocacy groups, political junkies, and government agencies. Created to leverage new uses of video technology for the political community, CHBN allows its users to inform, educate, advocate, influence, and campaign at the click of a mouse.

    David Livingston, a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and the site’s founder, says: “CHBN is a non-partisan website that serves as a free and powerful communication tool for people and organizations in the political community. It’ll not only serve as an important tool for candidates and others, but it will also be entertaining and informative for our visitors.”

    “We feel confident that this is where politics on the internet is heading,” Livingston says. “We wanted to be the first to provide a professional, politically themed online network. Members can create and upload their own videos or upload their existing media to give it additional exposure. Elected officials can use the site to give weekly video updates to stay connected to his or her constituents. In addition, individuals and advocacy groups can broadcast legislative proposals or viewpoints on an issue, and can receive feedback through CHBN’s ‘rating’ and ‘comment’ feature. Unlike television, this tool allows members to immediately gauge viewer interest while complementing online fundraising efforts.”

    “More and more people are getting their political news online. We think the timing is right for CHBN. In the next year, we plan on ramping up our efforts to form partnerships with various private and government content providers. Our goal is to create a wealth of information for our visitors to benefit their organization, cause, etc. We want to include as many committee hearings, historical videos, interviews, debates, speeches, political documentaries, and commercials as we can. This will keep the site interesting, educational, and entertaining.”

    Experts agree that American political campaigns are currently undergoing a period of change, due to changing

    campaign-finance laws, increased use of the internet, and the apparently declining effectiveness of television advertising. As the cost for running for elected office and influencing public opinion gets more expensive, it is likely that this type of service will grow in popularity.

    Use of CHBN for politicians, associations, and others is bound only by one’s imagination. Livingston concludes: “This type of technology can give a polished yet financially challenged candidate from anywhere in America a chance to get noticed, get on the radar screen, and get elected. It helps even the playing field for those candidates and organizations without having to pay the price.”

    Like

  9. How can the Post grow it’s audience? Simple, steal some of the Wash Times thunder away, go both sides, instead of the usual chummy-leak Beltway warmed-over wolfpack ‘Washington Week’ booooredom, of which the late 70s era Balz is quite the poster boy for.

    Breaking new ground? Covering the journalists covering the spin? I call that a feedback loop. 😉

    Like

  10. How can the Post grow it’s audience? Simple, steal some of the Wash Times thunder away, go both sides, instead of the usual chummy-leak Beltway warmed-over wolfpack ‘Washington Week’ booooredom, of which the late 70s era Balz is quite the poster boy for.

    Breaking new ground? Covering the journalists covering the spin? I call that a feedback loop. 😉

    Like

Comments are closed.