The Rosenblum method

I’ve been privileged to hear Michael Rosenblum’s spiel often and it’s inspiring. Here is video of a particularly good version of it delivered to newspaper editors in the UK (part I, part II, summary). He makes it clear that the sane response to new technology is not to fight against it and he shows how. I brought him into the Star-Ledger, where he trained a roomful of pencil-pushers to make good video stories in a week, which yielded this, and I brought him into CUNY, where he empowers students to find that they can make good video. Michael, like me, gets attacked for attacking the defensiveness of old media. But he’s doing something about it. He’s renewing them.

  • Richard

    FYI – You can watch Michael Rosenblum being interviewed by Brian Lamb this Sunday (11/16) at 8pm & 11pm ET on C-SPAN’s Q+A program.

  • Inside

    Unfortunately for your argument, the experiment that you and Rosenblum brought to The Star-Ledger has been an abject failure in every way so far — massive investment of money and resources, no sponsor on the horizon, almost zero audience. Also, the “pencil pushers” who thought they were part of a fun new future have grown to hate the exercise, and some have proven incapable of doing the work in a reasonable amount of time. And with the Ledger’s massive scale-back in staffing, many of these videographers fled — including the managers tasked with running the silly operation.

    Well done!

  • gutless “inside”: could we perhaps be a disgruntled former employee? have the balls to stand your words.

  • Inside

    Spare me the insults, Jeff. I’m just in a position to know these things are true and report them — you know, like a journalist. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the substance of these facts.

  • Inside

    Who’s gutless now, Jeff? Who doesn’t have the balls to stand by his words?

  • I have a life and a job.
    I think the product is very successful as content.
    It is new and will grow and improve.
    Nothing I know of online got tons of ad revenue from the start.
    There are also complications such as who sells video ads.
    I am confident that the product will grow and be a success.
    Sorry. You seem to prefer to kill the baby.
    Disgruntlement is not always pretty.

  • Inside

    But what is your measure of success? If it’s not viewership, and it’s not revenue, and it’s not the distribution of truly meaningful information, then what is success? Is it just whatever SEEMS successful to Jeff Jarvis?

  • Enough. I think it’s innovative and good. You don’t. What more is to be said that isn’t an utter waste of time?

  • enough.

  • Inside

    What’s innovative about it? It’s been tried in several places, and the format is basically the same one used in broadcast journalism for the last 40 years.

  • This kind of naysaying and carping and negativity is why newspapers are in such trouble and have not innovated.

  • Inside

    This “naysaying and carping and negativity” is what journalists call skepticism. It’s one the hallmarks of good journalism — the ability to analyze what some authority is claiming, test those claims against reality or history, and point out flaws in the argument. It seems like you prefer to dodge a real debate. First you questioned my motives for disagreeing, then you insulted me like a bully, now you claim that since I don’t agree with your idea, I’m dragging the industry down.

    I don’t think you’ve explained how this experiment at The Star-Ledger is innovative. But beyond that is the obvious flaw in making innovation your goal: that it is entirely possible that something could be both innovative and not useful. It could be a new idea, but not one that has any value in pursuing. Can’t you see that this might be one of those cases?

  • It’s that skepticism, as you call it, that stops you from trying things. Google puts out betas and learns and makes them better. Newspaper people think they can and should be perfect. That’s what holds them back. You can always – always – find someone in a newsroom who’ll say, “that won’t work… that’s not up to our standards…” That kills innovation. This kind of incessant harping makes it difficult for the person trying to do anything new or different. It forces people out of the newsroom who might be able to bring innovation. It is destructive. You call it skepticism.

  • Inside

    Skepticism is just critical thinking. And critical thinking — when it’s honest and open — leads to better outcomes. It helps you decide what ideas to pursue, what ideas to mold into different ideas, what ideas to throw out altogether. That’s not being negative, that’s part of an honest creative process.

    In the example we’re discussing, critical analysis shows us that the project is not profitable, not popular with readers/viewers, and draining the newsroom of resources that could be deployed to pursue other ideas. It’s not being negative to say that at some point the pursuit of this strategy will be part of the destruction of the rest of the organization.

  • MikeS

    Can you at least answer the question? How is the experiment at The Star-Ledger innovative?