Scoble Sits with the Washington Post

    December 28, 2006

I’m sitting with Dan Balz, political journalist for the Washington Post. He wrote this story of the events this morning.

I am getting back to looking at how technology is changing campaigns. Getting back to my geek roots, as it were.

He’s been at the Post since 1978.

Technology is radically changing campaigns, he says. First he’s no longer writing just for paper. Dan told me he’s updated his story several times in the past few hours, plus he’s been on radio and TV interviews. The Post wants him to produce podcasts and video blogs too, or look for opportunities in bringing other media onto the Post’s pages.

He’s typing furiously into a Dell laptop – is now rewriting his article for the newspaper that everyone will get in the morning – and has a Verizon Wireless card.

The world of politics is changing, he told me, because now a candidate must give dozens of interviews to tons of different people with small audiences. The age of talking to one guy who had a massive audience is probably over. Even if you leave blogs out of the story even the mainstream press is seeing its audiences split up into smaller and smaller niches with more and more pieces. I remember back to journalism school where I saw pictures of the Presidential press corps back in the 1960s: there were only a handful of journalists. Today, even for news like today, dozens of different camera crews show up, along with dozens more of print journalists, photographers, everyday citizens, and radio journalists.

One other thing that we chatted about is business models. He knows his organization is under pressure to not only grow audience (he says the Washington Post is read now more than ever, but increasingly only online) but also figure out how to make money with its increasingly online audience. He’s not the only journalist to talk with me about that lately – seems the entire industry is focused on how to make money to continue to fund content.

Anyway, I’ll try to get back to tech a little bit. Ahh, Apple’s in trouble over stock option back dating. That’s a tough issue to chew on, but then ripping off investors isn’t exactly sexy.



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Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as’s Vice President of Media Development.

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