From the Fields
The current U.S. political debacle is asking journalists and the journalism industry to evaluate their long-held traditions. “So as Trump mocked, insulted, abused, lied, and made preposterous claims,” writes Lee Siegel, “the moderators sat stunned, locked into long-established rituals of their ceremonial role.” While this is a great piece to understand journalism’s slow pivot, its lessons apply equally to those antiquated, monied companies that continue to spend more on interruptive advertising than content marketing.
This terrific piece by Krystal Overmyer for Skyword’s The Content Standard ventures into brave territory by calling out the often unquestioned fuel driving the vast majority of content marketing efforts: financial motive. Check out the opening paragraph: “Starbucks has launched a new digital storytelling series with an eye on positive human experiences—a move it insists is about bridging a journalistic gap, not marketing or PR.”
If your work in some way brushes against journalism or content marketing, this lecture from Emily Bell of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School is a must-read. Here’s a line worth carrying with you for the next decade or so: “In fact digitally native companies like BuzzFeed, Vox and hybrids like Vice, have disrupted the failing publishing model by essentially becoming advertising agencies — which are themselves in danger of failing.”
This is a quiet but important piece (from June of this year) by Simon Rogers, Data Editor at the Google News Lab. In it he highlights work in data journalism: that specialty using numerical data to bolster (or often entirely make) compelling, newsworthy stories. It’s obviously an arena increasingly crucial for journalists to understand. But what does it mean for marketers? Well, some of the best data-driven stories I’ve read this year have come from content marketers. If you’re a storyteller working for a data-driven company (which most are or are quickly becoming), your proximity is a huge advantage.