In our Throwback Thursday series, we take a look at what the key figures in media were thinking in the past, based on the Journalism.co.uk archive, and how those issues can be related to the current challenges and opportunities that dominate the conversation about the digital media landscape.
Read the rest of the series here, including a special on quotes from the first two newsrewired digital journalism events organised by Journalism.co.uk in 2010.
This week, we take a look at a number of stories from October 2007, featuring a citizen journalism initiative at the BBC, worries at The Washington Post that the title’s mobile strategy was falling behind the times, and the Guardian’s plans for interactivity and an American edition.
Washington Post planned a relaunch for Web 3.0
Speaking at the AOP conference in October 2007, Caroline Little, then chief executive of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, said The Washington Post had to focus on developing its mobile offering.
"We’re really far behind in mobile compared to Europeans, that’s one area that we are really focusing on right now," she said.
Washington Post’s update for Web 3.0 also planned to include more tools for readers to be able to interact with the site, as well as to dive into the site’s content and discover stories on their topics of interest. One way to do this was to work around the website’s tagged words, which at the time counted 300,000.
Today, The Washington Post is often one of the early adopters of new technologies in order to experiment with their potential uses for journalism.
It has created its own suite of publishing tools, and is experimenting with new technologies to promote constructive audience engagement on the website at a time where many have closed their comments sections and never looked back.
The Guardian started to expand overseas
In October 2007, Guardian America was launching, to make the most of the interest in the Guardian from across the pond. In August 2007 for example, 32 per cent of the Guardian’s unique users were from the US.
The launch was timed for the site to be ready to cover the election primaries in January 2008, and Guardian America’s coverage began with an interview with Hilary Clinton.
At the time, the Guardian was also rethinking its approach to user interaction, and planning to develop more tools.
"This is certainly something that we are looking at extending, the social impact or social activity that is going on around the site," Meg Pickard, then head of communities at Guardian Unlimited, told the AOP conference in October 2007.
"It's a way of showing what's the zeitgeist, what the temperature is right now, and being able to reflect that back to the audience, it's something we're looking at quite hard and how we can extend that in particular topic areas as well as across the board."
Nowadays, the Guardian has a large presence outside of the UK, with local offices in Australia and the US, as well as a Mobile Innovation Lab which is part of the Guardian US newsroom.
Citizen journalism at BBC Urdu
The BBC was looking to reach new audiences for BBC Urdu as more people in the region were coming online in 2007. Part of this effort was a journalism project looking to get citizen editors to help work on a micro-site called 'Your edition'.
"In a milieu of extensive social networking and participatory media, we intend 'Your edition' to be the next level of interactivity whereby user-participation evolves into user-empowerment," said Waheed Mirza, then editor of bbcurdu.com.
See you next week for more Throwback Thursday! Do you remember any predictions that never came to pass, or any quotes that were spot on from 'back in the day'? Tweet us at @journalismnews.
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