Bimbo Banter

Adapt or Die

  • Trends
  • August 26, 2014
  • by Sally Ann Rivera

While studying journalism in college, I was often asked if I thought journalism was dying. My studies and experiences taught me that the correct answer is that journalism is changing. While I was a student, my university rebranded their journalism and PR department to include “new media.” Of course, reporters are stressed more than ever and people just don’t read anymore. But those are problems. What we need are solutions. Enter Vox.

Vox is an explainer site that takes the news of the day and relays it in a visually appealing format that allows for easy absorption. Think The New York Times meets Buzzfeed.

“We were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,” founder Ezra Klein said during a preview right before launching his new site. Now almost five months on (which is about five years in digital time) the site is still going strong and is a favorite news source of mine.

What Vox is doing is in line with Wonkblog (Klein’s first big project) and competitor TechCrunch, though arguably even better. The pages “attract attention directly” and Klein holds “journalists responsible for constantly updating pages.” This is best seen in the site’s “card stack” feature that briefs readers on major headline topics (and come in handy considering “we take in five times more information now on average than we did in 1986—the equivalent of 174 newspapers cover-to-cover”).

Vox dishes out tidbits and facts in a style well-suited to a culture that prefers to skim rather than read. It’s a sad reality with a hopeful antidote. The reporters of yesterday must become a new generation of storytellers. Companies and PR professionals must do the same. In our digital world, it’s adapt or die (see Rutgers “Wrong Thing to Say” entry from May 2014 BIMBO).

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