On the heels of several notable talent shifts – Howard Kurtz from the Washington Post to the Daily Beast, Howard Fineman from Newsweek to the Huffington Post and Peter Goodman from the New York Times to the Huffington Post – Nick Carr suggests that the line is vanishing between mainstream and digital journalism:
On a journalistic level, the new playing field is more even. Many people see the news in aggregated form on the Web, and when they notice a link that interests them, they click on it with nary a thought about the news organization behind it. Information stands or falls on its magnetism, with brand pedigree becoming secondary.
More and more, the dichotomy between mainstream media and digital media is a false one. Formerly clear bright lines are being erased all over the place. Open up Gawker, CNN, NPR and The Wall Street Journal on an iPad and tell me without looking at the name which is a blog, a television brand, a radio network, a newspaper. They all have text, links, video and pictures. The new frame around content is changing how people see and interact with the picture in the middle.
In yet another indication of this trend, the James Beard Foundation announced that the Beard Journalism Awards will no longer have separate categories for print and online publications:
“This radical evolution of the category represents a huge leap forward for food journalism,” Dorothy Kalins, the journalism awards committee chairwoman, said in a news release. “No longer will it matter where an incredible piece of service journalism, a politically charged essay or in-depth profile appears. The journalism awards will be platform neutral giving more opportunities to reward excellent work.”