Many newsrooms in the U.S. are still not taking advantage of the low-cost digital tools for gathering and distributing journalism, even when journalists and producers know about the alternatives to traditional technologies.
That’s one of the findings in a report published today by Mark Stencel, Poynter Institute digital fellow, Bill Adair, Knight chair of computational journalism at Duke University, and Prashanth Kamalakanthan, a former assistant at the Duke Reporters’ Lab.
The report, “The Goat Must Be Fed. Why digital tools are missing in most newsrooms,” is based on interviews with more than 20 editors, news directors and digital editors at newspapers, TV and radio stations.
Some of the other interesting findings include:
• Journalism awards and well-attended conferences create a sense that the adoption of data reporting and digital tools is broader than it really is. But there is a still significant gap between the industry’s digital haves and have-nots — particularly between big national organizations, which have been most willing to try data reporting and digital tools, and smaller local ones, which haven’t.
• Local news leaders often cite budget, time and people as their biggest constraints. But conversations with more than 20 senior editors and producers also revealed deeper issues — part infrastructure, part culture. This includes a lack of technical understanding and ability and an unwillingness to break reporting habits that could create time and space to experiment.
The authors write that their conclusions are also informed by their experience working directly on digital journalism initiatives. Both Stencel and Adair have had experience in developing new digital initiatives.