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For Media, It's Platform or Perish

Media companies are learning that their future lies in the technology platforms that run their operations. When a prominent columnist like Ezra Klein leaves the Washington Post for a technology-driven upstart like Vox, it becomes clear that it’s all about the platform.

“We were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,” said Klein.

But exactly how does a technology platform influence the culture and workflows of a media organization? How do editorial identity and curation strategies influence technology? This panel will discuss the ways that platforms — specifically content management systems — affect content, distribution, participation and competition, and are expected to handle a range of internal and external functions. The platform determines who can publish, how content is shared and the ways the community can engage. Platform and network dynamics are not only experiencing an interplay with media culture, but culture at large.

Additional Supporting Materials

Questions

  1. Is the platform idea even all that new? How have "platforms" historically influenced media?
  2. As media organizations evolve into technology organizations, what are the challenges? What are the tensions within the platform/publisher spectrum?
  3. How is our understanding of a “story” changed in a platform environment? What new story forms are emerging?
  4. What roles have emerged as necessary to navigate and develop a platform approach and new media culture?
  5. How does journalism curriculum need to change to support a platform-driven media environment? What are the skills journalists need to understand the technology that supports the platform?

Speakers

Organizer

Cindy Royal, Associate Professor, Texas State University


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