On Friday, the First Lady of Inkville and I checked out "Multimedia Journalism & the Landscape of News," a talk by The Daily's Gabriel Dance. It was sponsored by my old stomping grounds, the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.
Dance was a popular act; we arrived a few minutes late, and found the room already at capacity and hotter than Hades. Good on him.
A lot of what Dance had to say really hit home, especially his strong recommendation that 21st century journalists need more than one skill set. And as I can attest both as a freelancer and as a former magazine staffer, it's hard out there for a pimp, assuming the pimp is a writer trying to support himself solely through freelance.
Dance's song-and-dance about multimedia was interesting, and he aptly demonstrated how the concept of "journalism" is elastic enough to encompass computer animators, designers, illustrators, and other creatives.
All Dance's examples stemmed from his time at The New York Times, and I'll admit I was hoping for a bit more about Dance's new gig at The Daily. But that job is new, so perhaps Dance deserves a pass for at least a few more weeks. And frankly, The Daily has thus far failed to impress me.
But what really left me scratching my head was the amount of culture shock Dance must be experiencing transferring from the Times, a supposed liberal bastion, to working for Rupert Murdoch. As I type this, Dance's personal website features a link to an article about a journalist's "battles" with Murdock, so perhaps The Daily really is enacting a separation of church and state for the purposes of doing business.