What do we call this new form of journalism and media?

With so many digital news, information and community sites popping up all over the place, using blogs, Twitter, CoverItLive, podcasts, video, social media, mapping mash-ups, searchable databases and other shiny new objects, it seems prime time to introduce a new name for all this hubbub.

The news industry calls it “new media” or “interactive media,” but that’s just differentiating it from legacy forms of publishing. Pretty much everything online is “interactive” and it’s not really “new” anymore.

“Online media?” Digital publishing?” Yawn.

Honestly, this has been bugging me for weeks. (I know, therapy is an option.) I’ve invited people in the Tacoma area where I live to gather at a local watering hole next week. I struggled with how to classify the meet-up. I resorted to “Tacoma bloggers and online media meet-up” but hope that independent bloggers, professional journalists and other walks of life are represented.

It’s media, but not necessarily journalism. As Clay Shirky deftly dissected in his book Here Comes Everybody, journalism is a profession, and to label something a profession means to “define the way in which it is more than just a job.” But often this new activity is only indirectly related to one’s job.

It will take a mix of all these tools, plus some that are just now being invented, to build successful new business models for the sustainable publishing of news/information/community in the future. What will we call that business, that industry, that specialty?

Check out Frank McGuire’s course at ASU (which looks fascinating, by the way). It’s called “The Business and Future of Journalism.” We know that future will be built digitally, but not entirely by journalists (since collaboration and social tools are so critical). So we can’t exactly call it “journalism.”

But what do we call it?

If you have any other ideas for a killer new name for all this, post a comment. Or steer me another direction of you think I’ve strayed off course.

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2 Responses to “What do we call this new form of journalism and media?”

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