"Stop the Press"

 

Or “Painokoneet Seis – kertomuksia uuden journalismin ajasta” it is called in Finnish. A very good book everybody working in the present media scene should read. Written by journalist Johanna Vehkoo during her two year leave of absence in Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford  and published couple of months back (by Teos).

Seriously, if you work in the media or you are at all interested where our media is heading – or more maybe  where it is NOT heading – and what are the choices or what might be the smartest thing to do right now, you really should read this.

Lots of the things she discusses are the same themes you have been reading on the pages of e.g. this blog – and elsewhere – during the past couple of years. But it is more  the way how she just wraps it up, in very clear Finnish, in a very concise manner and makes it pretty obvious that the present model is just not working – and you are stupid if you do not see and acknowledge this.

That the road chosen by the traditional publishing houses simply just repeats all the mistakes committed elsewhere.

Being a Photographer

If you are a photographer, I don’t think you have had a chance of NOT understanding by now that something is totally wrong – I mean: wrong beyond photography, beyond the image business we used to work in. Writers still might choose to stick their head into the bush, fall into denial and pretend nothing is going on (btw, kind of scary if professional journalists choose to do that,  don’t you think? The watchdogs of our society…?) But for us – visual professionals – that is no more an option.

I give you quickly two examples on the recent developments which have caught my eye lately:

  • Turun Sanomat is trying to get rid of 30 out of  their 35 person staff in their picture dept. Tietokuva. Leaves them the chief pic. editor, shop-steward (pääluottamusmies) who cannot be fired legally and three secretaries… which is just barely enough to handle the telephone booking service of this quality newspaper to freelancers 24/7  (à 5€ /hour – or couple of movie tickets in exchange of these quality images…? ;-) )
  • Now that Sanoma News is getting rid of their excess of staff, doesn’t it strike you a bit odd that Ilta-Sanomat will have less photographers in their payroll as they do have editors-in-chief? Would be funny… if it were not so bloody sad.

I mean surely they do  know what they are doing and that is the correct solution… ? When all the research published lately points to the fact that the future is visual (let me refer here e.g. to the one published in Tampere University about a week ago on – which I probably will discuss in my next post) .

And what does the legacy print do?  A logical answer for  the visual demand of the future? Right: more guys-in-ties for the business or cheap hacks to produce more text… makes total sense, right?

Yet, this is happening.

A Glimpse of Reality

I have to tell a brief anecdote of a friend of mine (a photographer in HS) told me the other day.  A routine gig he was about to go and shoot – something you do daily, sometimes several times a day, day in day out.. The editor decides to give a bit of extra briefing… then another one jumps in… then another…

My friend told me he counted 11 people around him giving instructions of how he should do his image (one image, btw)… until he just politely left to do his work and let the guys-in-ties continue their visions of how it should be done.

Again: this should be funny…  but I just find it very sad: these guys were serious, they really did not know what their role in the organization was – or was supposed to be – didn’t have a clue as what to do…. so when given an opportunity to actually do something – i.e. give advice, to have influence – they jumped right at it.

And maybe that says something about the organization – about any organization which behaves this way: if there is time and room for eleven guys-in-ties  spend their time in the morning to tell a seasoned visual professional as how to take one picture … maybe – just maybe – there is something worth reconsidering in the organizational structure. Or is it just me…? ;-)

As I got into telling anecdotes, let me share one more. One which made my heart miss a beat the other day…

 A Second Opinion on the Future

One of the best parts of being a photographer is that one meets interesting and intelligent people and gets to know their views – in a sort of informal way. On the side, so to speak. “You are photographer, you are not journalist, you are potentially harmless…”  they seem to think, so they quite often speak very directly if you ask the right questions.

The other day I happened to talk to somebody (I would mention his name, but I promised not to) while shooting him for an interview.  A veteran of newspaper business, an editor-in-chief, a highly respected and seasoned professional. Definitely more experienced than e.g. the present leadership of some of our biggest publishers.

There is one question which has been haunting me lately: I have hard time trying to understand why the present leaders of our legacy print don’t seem to see the obvious, when personally I don’t have to think for a second when I look e.g. at the stats…(circulation, ad revenue, r&d budgets, dividends, etc.) or layoffs, freelance contract demonstrations…

I mean: are they dumb or blind? Or both? Or…. Or could it really be that they are just so cold that they have looked at the numbers, understood that this is a game lost and the only thing to do now is to cash in before it totally collapses… and then move into something else.

Maybe into restaurant business or construction? Or something else lucrative?

Remember: these guys are professional businessmen, not journalists by training or vocation. And business is business…

So I decide to get a second opinion – a very educated one if I may add – and very casually I ask this editor-in-chief I mentioned while  taking my pictures: “I know it sounds like a bad conspiracy theory, and I don’t want to imply these guys running the legacy print  are idiots,  but  how can it be that they don’t see it? I mean, surely it cannot be that they don’t even try to do anything but to cash in…?”.

He does not hesitate a bit in his answer: “You are absolutely right, they are not idiots. It’s a game lost and they know it. And that’s exactly  what they are doing.”

I am not easily shut up but I really did not know how to continue my casual conversation with him…

Johanna Vehkoo actually talks about the same thing – quoting Alex S. Jones and his Losing the News (2009) –  using the term “harvesting” (“sadonkorjuu”  in Finnish). Seeing it as a game lost and making the most of it before the game is over.

As I said, her book is a must-read for all of us.

=========

Epilogue

An hour later I had posted the text above I came across Seth’s last blogpost:

“Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.

Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.

We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.”

– Seth Godin –

Is there any doubt as to which ones our legacy media presently relies on?

20 Comments

  1. Juhapekka Tukiainen
    October 22, 2011

    Damn, you beat me with that Seth quote.

    “Harvesting” certainly seems plausible, but my guess is that the media companies are not monolithic. There might be several competing opinions within the group of owners and managers. Hence the strange fact that Sanoma Corp financed the book that you write about. On the other hand, my main customer Otavamedia is now cutting almost a fifth of their staff, despite relatively good financial results.

    One thing is for sure, though. There are no real leaders in media. To use a really worn-out expression: there is no Steve Jobs in the field. The only person I can see leading anything is Rupert Murdoch, but his leadership is totally negative.

    But to return to harvesting: maybe I was being too optimistic/pollyannaish in my last commentary. I mused that the corporations are actively trying to find solutions, i.e. someone there at least tries to lead their companies to a better direction.

    Well, the reality is probably some shade of gray, not black or white. Whatever the situation is, your question is still the only one that matters: what do WE do next?

    Seth, of course, suggests leadership. In my last reply I thought that us foot soldiers should just join together and sell our work like before, but with better, skinnier technology. I still think so, but what if we would take Seth seriously? Hmm, doesn’t sound realistic, or…?

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      October 22, 2011

      Hi –

      and yes, I knew you would like the Seth quote. Smart guy he is; I never thought of that before i.e. that there is difference between leaders and managers which both get translated into Finnish as “johtaja”. As there is difference between “job” and “work” (again ref. to Seth) both translated as “työ” in Finnish.

      You are right about Jobs – yes, it’s a cliché but totally true. After reading that Seth’s post I thought “well, who do I know who classify as leaders” as opposed to managers? And I thought of couple of people I have had the honor of knowing: Martin Saarikangas (when he bought Värtsilä for 1€) and Adolf Ehnrooth. Naive maybe, but those were the names which came to my mind.

      About the “harvesting”. Your observation of organizations not being monolithic is totally correct. But: again quoting Seth: managers depend on authority. So the organizations are living in a atmosphere of fear and punishment and nobody with half a brain is willing to express any original or critical thoughts as it might lead to reprimand, even revenge.

      Sorry I did not react to your last commentary. Had a week off with the family and really tried to give my brain a small break. Would have required a lot of writing and referencing and people not familiar with Seth would not have understood a word… things like “tribal leadership” are household terms for you and me, but we are a minority… :-)

      I liked your resolution: to become Seth… I think you are on the right path over there. Just have to give it a bit of time.

      Reply
      • Juhapekka Tukiainen
        October 23, 2011

        Just another quote, but this time from Tom Friedman of New York Times:

        Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce.com, a cloud-based software provider, describes this phase of the I.T. revolution with the acronym SOCIAL. S, he says, is for speed — everything is now happening faster. O, he says, stands for open. If you don’t have an open environment inside your company or country, these new tools will blow you wide open. C is for collaboration because this revolution enables people to organize themselves within companies and societies into loosely coupled teams to take on any kind of challenges — from designing a new product to taking down a government. I is for individuals, who are able to reach around the globe to start something or collaborate on something farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before — as individuals.

        A is for alignment. “There has never been a more important time to have all your ships sailing in the same direction,” said Benioff. “The power of social media is that it is easier than ever to both articulate, and reinforce, the vision and values that create and inspire alignment.” And L is for the leadership that does that. Leadership in a SOCIAL world has to be a mix of bottom-up and top-down. Leaders need to inspire, enable and empower everything coming up from below in a company or a social movement and then edit and sculpt it with a vision from above into a final product.”

        Leadership in a SOCIAL world has to be a mix of bottom-up and top-down. Leaders need to inspire, enable and empower everything coming up from below in a company or a social movement and then edit and sculpt it with a vision from above into a final product.

        Speed, Open, Collaboration, Individuals, Alignment, Leadership.
        As acronyms go, this one is pretty good.

        Reply
      • kkuukka
        October 23, 2011

        Hi –

        good quote, thank you. I gotta start reading NYT, although I do remember reading Friedman earlier somewhere.

        I really liked this vision of leadership – hope you don’t mind my highlighting.

        Maybe it’s because I am presently teaching and producing stuff for the students: let them do the creating, self-expression, great ideas… and then try to sculpt it into a as brilliant, coherent visual narrative as I possibly can.

        “Sculpt” is a good one… not do it yourself, not tell how it should be done, but to try to filter the gems of their thoughts thru the filter of years of your experience to come up with something new, yet meeting approved, established professional standards. Provide the soil to grow for the talent.

        Just miscellaneous thoughts…

        Reply
  2. Kalle Koponen
    October 22, 2011

    Must be an interesting book and your briefing is good. Another thing that has caught my eye these days is that the larger media houses indeed are having more and more generals and colonels and less foot soldiers. Just like in the old Soviet army and we know how well they fared! Never ending adjustments to organization structure and processes takes a lot of energy and the rest is used to micromanage content the way your colleague was telling above. I downloaded today the new Ipad app of The Guardian and thought again if anyone will have a printed paper at the breakfast table in a couple of years…

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      October 22, 2011

      Kalle –
      thank you for commenting. To answer your last question: no, nobody will be reading the printed paper in couple of years. As i type this, my kids are playing with the iPad in the living room, loving it. Their role model i.e. dad i.e. me reads the morning news on the iPad… Surely they will order the printed version when they grow up… :-)

      Trouble is: the print business is still profitable. More profitable the cheaper you produce it. It is dying, everybody knows it. But if you can resuscitate it for another year of two, you can make more money…

      I actually understand this and accept this. What I cannot understand is that there is no real commitment for the future and what do we do there. But it is as JP above says, the players are probably not monolithic, but have different fractions working inside them… it’s just that presently, money talks and everything else is secondary…

      I talked to somebody the other day about this and expressed my concern for what is going to happen in 5 years time. He just laughed and said that you know, the companies do not know where they will be in 5 years time, so why should you worry….?

      Thing is.. I guess I am old school. I’d like to build for things to last, build for the future, have at least some direction as to where I am heading.

      But that’s just me… :-)

      Reply
  3. VT
    October 23, 2011

    Hi, got here from Johanna Vehkoo’s book’s FB page.

    In this crisis, I think it would be worth investigating where the majority of Finnish media org’s managers have been trained, ie. what are the theoretical ideas and models about management, business and organizational behavior and what are the core ideas and values that they subscribe to?

    I know that the MBA degree is very popular nowadays.. But it’s a relatively new one, so it’s most likely not to blame.

    Industrial management is most likely one the core baddies in this story – you know, the paradigm through which factories with machines and skilled (or unskilled) labour are managed.

    There are a few other popular management schools in Finland, but I’m not going to name them in this post. :)

    On a more general level, I believe this is a problem of too much professional specialization and “passive expertise” in the Finnish society. A processional manager, a text-journalist, a newspaper photographer are

    A crisis like this requires active entrepreneurial action and leadership from the “front-line” which mobilizes all the employees to think and to act. Ultimately, the division of labor needs to be rethought but when one is in survival mode, there are more important priorities.

    If someone thinks that “sticking to our trenches” and not changing the ways through which everyone has done their job through-out the years, and that casual “rear-line management” will guide us through this shift in the modus operandi of the press industry, they are dead wrong.

    If someone thinks that “sticking to our trenches” and not changing the ways through which everyone has done their job through-out the years, and that casual “rear-line management” will guide us through this shift in the modus operandi of the press industry, they are dead wrong.

    But hey, Darwin awards are passed out yearly – maybe the Finnish print media should be nominated? :)

    PS. Regarding “harvesting”, read this text: http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/03/10/the-return-of-the-barbarian/

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      October 23, 2011

      Moro –

      kiitos kommentoinnista. Hauskaa, jos Johannan sivulta on linkki tänne.

      Jos et ole lukenut Johannan kirjaa, niin suosittelen vakavasti. Se on asian ytimeen hyvin selkokielellä, luin sen itse yhdellä istumalla. Olen hänen kanssaan pääsääntöisesti täysin samoilla linjoilla – ainoa asia jota en ehkä jaa on välitön optimismi tulevaisuuteen.

      Luulen henkilökohtaisesti, että tulemme sukeltamaan vielä tosi syvälle ennenkuin “uusi” journalismi, mitä se sitten onkin, alkaa muotoutumaan. Olemassa olevat organisaatiot (vältän nimeämästä ketään) ovat niin raskaita, vanhoillisia, sokeasti uskovaisia “hyvien aikojen” paluuseen, täysin luottavaisia omaan erinomaisuuteensa sekä suuntautuneet tällä hetkellä jos ei pikavoiton, niin ainakin lyhyen tähtäimen tuloksen tekoon.

      Darwin palkinto legacy printille…? Ei huonompi idea. Ja pidin linkistäsi; tosin jos minua joskus syytetään pitkistä jutuista, niin tuon lukeminen oli enemmänkin kuin haastavaa :-)…

      Tämän hetkisten johtajien koulutus? En ole perehtynyt; muistan kuulleeni että Sanomien johtoryhmässä ei ole yhtään journalistia, mutta en ole ihan varma. Oikeastaan – on pakko tunnustaa – minua ei kiinnosta. Leikin eri hiekkalaatikossa. Sen verran ymmärrän, että tekevät ratkaisuja, joita yhtään pidemmällä aikavälillä voisi kutsua omiin housuihin kusemiseksi.

      Toisaalta: ratkaisut ovat täysin oikeita, jos tavoitteena on vain maksimaalinen tuotto ennen muihin hommiin siirtymistä. Oletan, että luit viimeisen osion tässä blogipostausksessa?

      Journalistina – visuaalisena sellaisena – sitä on vain vähän vaikea hyväksyä. Toisaalta: jos näin toimitaan, niin toivottavasti se sitten tapahtuu mahdollisimman nopeasti. Lypsetään pois se mitä saadaan ja sitten siirrytään muihin hommiin.

      Sitten ehkä joitakin saattaa ruveta kiinnostamaan, mitä ne hemmot siellä ruohonjuuritasolla oikeastaan osaavatkaan tehdä. Olisiko niillä ehkä jotain annettavaa tässä kriisissä?

      Jotkut saattavat vielä uskoa että “kyllä tämä tästä jotenkin asettuu”. Tarjoan vastaukseksi Terry Heatonin aforismia oman blogisivunsa ylälaidasta:

      “Postmodernism is a change-or-be-changed world. The word is out: Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die! Some would rather die than change.”
      – Leonard Sweet, cultural historian

      Kuntaliiton toimari Kari-Pekka Lohi-Mäenluoma sanoi muutama viikko takaperin jotain joka kolahti:


      “Elämme epävarmuuden yhteiskunnassa. Ja tässä tilanteessa tarvitaan voimakasta muutosjohtajuutta.
      Mielestäni sellaista ei voi olla ilman selkeää visiota tulevasta.”

      Kannattaa ehkä kysyä mielessään, kuinka paljon tällaista selkeää muutosjohtajuutta on havainnut meidän mediamaailmassamme viime aikoina? Tunnetko sinä ketään, jolla on tällaisia visioita?

      Tietysti: taloudellisesti on ehkä järkevää “lypsää” kaikki vanhasta järjestelmästä kun ei uudesta tiedä. Mutta mielestäni kertoon kyllä jotain johdon rajoittuneesta näkökyvystä…. Toisaalta, ketä kiinnostaa, kunhan rahaa tulee sisään? Sijoittajillehan metodi on ihan sama, pääasia on, että tulosta tulee. Rahan muodossa siis.

      Ja ketä oikeastaan kiinnostaa minunkaan mielipiteeni asiasta :-)?

      Mitä tämä sitten merkitsee yhteiskunnalle? Vapaalle, älykkäälle, julkiselle keskustelulle – jota on tyypillisesti kutsuttu laatujournalismiksi?

      Mutta onko sillä pörssiyhtiöille väliä?

      Reply
  4. X X
    October 23, 2011

    Luin mielenkiinnolla blogipostauksesi ja sen kommentit. Niistä tuli mieleeni lausahdus, jonka kollega kertoi minulle taannoin. Sanomalehti Keskisuomalaisen päätoimittaja-toimitusjohtaja Pekka Mervola oli ohjeistanut alaisiaan tehokkaampaan työskentelyyn näillä sanoilla:

    “Kuvajournalismissa, kuin myös maakuntalehtijournalismissa yleisemmin, on tärkeää välttää ylilaatua ja pyrkiä lukijakuntaan nähden riittävään laatuun.”

    “Kuvajournalismissa, kuin myös maakuntalehtijournalismissa yleisemmin, on tärkeää välttää ylilaatua ja pyrkiä lukijakuntaan nähden riittävään laatuun.”

    – Pekka Mervola, päätoimittaja, Keskisuomalainen –

    Vaikka lause on karmiva, on tavallaan hyvä, että joku pomo sanoo rehellisesti mistä tässä on kyse (minkä kaikki alalla tietävät muutenkin): sanomalehtiä tehdään tänä päivänä niin halvalla ja keskinkertaisesti kuin mahdollista, jotta lyhyen tähtäimen voitto olisi mahdollisimman suuri. Pitkän tähtäimen tulevaisuuteen eivät päätoimittajat, kustantajat tai omistajat enää usko, vaan rahat lypsetään ulos osinkoina. Useimmat maakuntalehdethän ovat erittäin kannattavia ja voitollisia, mutta samalla porukkaa laitetaan pihalle eikä tuotekehitykseen satsata juuri ollenkaan.

    Kari, olen samaa mieltä kanssasi ja toivon, että ahneen, vanhoihin kaavoihin kangistuneen printtilehdistön romahdus tapahtuu mahdollisimman nopeasti. Okei, monet menettävät siinä työpaikkansa, mutta ehkä tarvitaan totaalinen tuho ja uusi alku, jotta voidaan taas keskittyä itse asiaan eli journalismiin.

    Reply
  5. kkuukka
    October 23, 2011

    Kiitos kommentista –

    Ja on aika rankkaa tekstiä päätoimittajan kynästä. En tunne miestä, joten en rupea kommentoimaan sen enempää. Tehköön jokainen kuitenkin omat johtopäätöksensä arvoista ko. lehden sisällä.

    Mutta: jottei hän tuntisi olevansa yksin tässä journalismin voittokulussa, niin pari kommenttia, jotka itse olen saanut päin näköä, kun olen yrittänyt ehdottaa jotain vähän erilaisempaa lähestymistapaa nettiin tehtäväksi:

    “Ei meille mitään noin hienoa tarvitse tehdä, meille kelpaa huonompikin”.

    “Kuvaa nyt vain jotain, ihan sama, kaikkeahan ne siellä netissä katsoo”.

    “Kato, sä et ymmärrä. Tää netti toimii sillai, että mitä tahansa sinne laittaa tällä hetkellä, niin klikkausluvut vain nousevat”.

    “Älä suotta enempää, se on meille ihan riittävän hyvä”.

    Rupean aina voimaan pahoin, kun kuulen ilmaisun “riittävän hyvä” tai “riittävä laatu”. Miten editoimaton kännykkävideo on “meille riittävän hyvä”… etc.

    Se on “riittävän hyvä” syy selittämään tämän hetkisen journalismin alennustilan.

    Reply
  6. hopper stone
    October 23, 2011

    Holy shit on a stick. I just threw up a little. Seriously? A boss telling you not to do “too good” of a job?

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      October 23, 2011

      Yup, dead serious. And people still think this is a “phase” which will pass… just wait it out. Double dipped in reindeer shit, I’m telling you, this is getting real ugly.

      Reply
  7. Juhapekka Tukiainen
    October 24, 2011

    Re: what you said about sculpting and ideas. Listen to Jony starting at 48.20:

    http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/10oiuhfvojb23/event/index.html#

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      October 24, 2011

      My hero. Definitely. “Defeat over cynicism…” You gotta love that.
      And yes: exactly what I meant when talking about sculpting…
      Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
  8. niklas
    October 28, 2011

    Kyllä pikkupomojen määrä ihmetyttää, kasa mitäänsaamattomia heppuja jotka yleensä vain viestittää isojen pomojen käskyt eteenpäin. Karsimalla pikkupomot pois kustannus tehokkuus nousee. Huomannut että pikkupomon lähtiessä kukaan ei häntä kaipaa ja hommat sujuu hyvin.

    Reply
  9. Juhapekka Tukiainen
    November 2, 2011

    The situation seems to have changed today:

    http://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri/Helsingin+Sanomien+ja+Nelosen+uutisten+toimitukset+yhteen/a1305548535924

    (The biggest Finnish newspaper and the tv news of the same corporation will combine their functions.)

    This might or might not be “leadership” as defined by Seth Godin. It could be just a way to save money, but my nose says that this is a positive development. The old media did not become new media in one day, but they are starting to move. They do it in a corporate way, slowly and stiffly, but they still do it.

    And they have the money to do it.

    I think that Kari’s critique has been JOT – just on time. When the hybrid print/tv/net company gets organized and they realize the potential of hybrid print/tv/net advertising, they have a good chance to walk away relatively unscathed from the coming collapse of paper based media. Just when Kari called them out for being a sitting duck, they got airborne. Or at least they started to quack : )

    There are lots of possibilities here. New York Times has already proved that people are willing to pay for quality net content. If the Sanoma guys play their cards right, they might even end up recreating some of the quality and relevance of the glory days of the Helsingin Sanomat.

    Why? Because quality is the only way to differentiate yourself in the web. Today the paper based company is losing its edge and relevance because they are so badly hampered by the slowness and cost of their media. When they get rid of both, they can concentrate their resources and regain their leading position – and the only way to do that is quality.

    Okay, I’m being an optimist here, but can’t help it. It is genetic. So I also predict that this might be positive for us freelancers. When the big companies are relevant again, but they still need to think skinny (i.e. to do things more cheaply and more efficiently with new technology) they might want to employ the kind of nomadic tribes of freelancers I envisioned earlier.

    So instead of doing just crappy single gigs as low-pay individuals, a tribe of top freelancers might be employed to do, say, the entire olympics or other major events as a turnkey project. The company pays a lump sum and the tribe creates everything.

    Not a bad vision, eh?

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      November 2, 2011

      JP –

      you never stop amazing me. Thank you for your (again) great commentary.

      Yes, I agree, the situation has changed somewhat. But: I have to disagree at the same time: I don’t think this is (necessarily) a positive development. You are right; this is a corporate way of doing things – yes, it’s good they are doing stuff.

      But – on the grassroot level: they combine legacy print with a minor tv-channel in economic dire straights. Fair enough. Now they have text, images and video. And – so?

      This does not constitute multimedia. This does not change “HS4” to be visually driven media of tomorrow. It’s still run by the same guys groomed in the print world. Or the simply business oriented guys – people I lovingly call as guys-in-ties.

      I think the thinking behind is: “ok, now we have images and videos and text – now we can get back to normal, that takes care of this multimedia BS”. Sorry, but there is no “normal” to get back to.

      This is the rationalization of the guys-in-ties, I’m afraid (and I hope I am wrong on this) – and the mission is to save some money. Not provide a better service/journalism – whatever the official statements are.

      And boy do I wish I was wrong about this… :-)

      Will this result in new a form of leadership? Again I wish… but I doubt it seriously. Why would it? Who would be a leader worth following? There is no Seth, Steve, Jeff, Mark… not even Aatos, who would say “perkele, let’s get this shit together”. People follow people, remember?

      As to tribal leading… (and I was laughing here by myself as I do realize that e.g. “tribes” etc. are totally clear to you and me, but might seem a bit weird (to say the least) for the occasional reader… :-)) No, this is not it.

      But: something is in the air. I have had two instances now this fall of a client or editor in chief saying: “you know, you could probably get a team and take care of all of this, could you? How about if we just give the whole gig to you and you just do it?”

      Both times I have said “yes, sure thing” and both gigs have been a hit.

      I’m sure there is more to come. This is the way it will be in the future I predict: “You know, we want this and kind of multimedia, and we are not really sure how to approach it… can you take care of the whole shit?”

      Johanna came out with her book. Her former boss, editor in chief of Aamulehti Jouko Jokinen commented it couple of days later, saying how “this kind of small crisis does just good to the media” and the “print is strong” – well, you know the drill… ;-) My favorite parts were the ref. to the leftist ideas and “she should have talked to us who really do know something…”.

      Five days later- last Friday his boss- i.e. CEO of Almamedia Kai Telanne gives an interview to YLE saying that ALMAMEDIA will be focusing seriously into thte digital and that there is about 3000 jobs in the line….

      And if that were not enough, a talk of Matti Posio – yet another editor-in-chief – this time of Aamulehti Sunday edition – is published in the YouTube – recorded in TEDx Helsinki last summer I believe. Outdated somewhat, but basically making serious fun of our legacy print and book publishing industry… Worth seeing; the first couple of minutes is kind of slow but hang on, it’s really good.

      But: three totally different views.

      These three guys work in the same organization. You were so right in one of your earlier commentaries when you said that these legacy organizations are not monolithic. Are they – as organizations – schizophrenic or bipolar, that is another matter… ;-)

      Reply
  10. Verkkojournalismia parhaimmillaan | smoisala
    November 5, 2011

    […] joskus Suomessa. Katson kaihoten Tampereen suuntaan, jossa muun muassa Kari Kuukka opettaa. Hänen bloggauksensa ja multimediatoteutuksensa ovat epäilemättä suomalaista […]

    Reply
  11. Juhapekka Tukiainen
    November 13, 2011

    The situation develops:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/friedman-the-last-person.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

    JP

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      November 13, 2011

      True –

      it does. I heard about this tablet some weeks ago… but stupid self-centered me …. I really did not think about the big picture.
      I know I am repeating myself but I say it again: there is no doubt where there future will be.

      That concept of the last mile was interesting, I never heard it before.

      We – as a more or less advanced society – have different challenges and our last mile looks a bit different. We are so-ooo comfortable and lazy in our present state of well-being that we really do not envision how it could be.

      Let me share an anecdote: yesterday I was showing to somebody, a friend I happened to bump into -a guy well educated and in a white-collar government job – a web app I did for the iPad (because there was one aspect of it’s behavior in the iPad which I found fascinating). SO I dig it out of my backpack, flip it open, start to babble about it and he looks and listens …. and asks: so what is this, is this like a computer, is this the … how do you call it… the “iPad” everybody is talking about?

      I guess that sort of makes my point….

      But personally, on a general level: I have always thought that one should make a change for the better when you can do it yourself – not when it is forced upon you.

      Reply

Leave a Reply