Teaching New Media, Not Pushing It

It took just 50 minutes for six companies funded by the Knight Foundation to present their innovative new media tools to an audience of prominent news editors. In that short amount of time, leaders of the nation's newsrooms were told how RSS feeds and news video widgets could make their publications more interactive.

But how much information can one person take in before there's too much to comprehend?

At an earlier session, David Carr of The New York Times said he thinks journalists are getting "dumber and dumber" because they are constantly busy pushing media out.

So in respect to Carr's comment, some of the most beneficial advice given Tuesday might have been from USA Today's Joshua Hatch, who focused not on forcing endless new media templates on editors, but more on how and when to use them.

In an industry clearly beset by financial handicaps, Hatch was realistic in providing editors with examples of cheap and effective web tools that foster interaction. He opted not to push customized interactive tools requiring designers, knowing a majority of his audience couldn't afford them.

Instead, Hatch set guidelines for "fun, easy, informative and personal" tools, such as linking to Google maps and conducting reader surveys, which seemed reasonable for any publication looking to increase interactions with their readers.

By Adam Kerlin