IIt is appropriate that, to cover INMA's annual World Congress about the hottest trends in media, we use the hottest trends in media. This year, that includes bringing in a team of fusion journalists from Western iMedia, the innovative editorial startup operated out of Western Kentucky University.
Ten of these multi-platform storytellers will integrate with INMA's own editorial and online staff to report every possible facet of the conference in every practical format. You will recognise them all over the event by their flashing multi-media nametags. You'll see their work in real time all over this Web site. And don't be surprised when they also reach out to you through your mobile phone, iPad and Twitter feed to get you involved in the story. That's part of what they do.
“Fusion journalists combine the ethics and mission of quality editorial work with an atypical range of expertise in making that work more visual, more tangible, more accessible to a contemporary audience,” says Western iMedia director Kerry Northrup. “These are journalists who don't just tell stories but who create the environments in which news consumers experience those stories across multiple media and emergent technologies. These are entrepreneurial journalists primed to work in the start-ups, NGOs, non-profits, social networks and corporate activities that are becoming the new mainstream media, as well as reinvigorating traditional mainstream media.”
For the INMA World Congress, we've asked Western iMedia to concentrate on generating a social mediastorm and on vidcasting conference activities and participants.
For the first of those, iMedia will be out to engage as many conference participants as they can in a continuous, robust exchange of thoughts and ideas through Twitter and other networks. From your iPhone or Blackberry directly into our editorial workflow, then — enhanced and contextualised — on to the world, even while the speaker is still presenting. BYOB (bring your own Blackberry). iMedia will provide training on how to contribute.
For the second bit, the vidcasting, the iMedia crew will deploy a wide range of cameras and multimedia gear, from high-end to low, including POV (point of view) video. They will also staff a video editing operation right in the middle of things where you can watch and learn, or even let us capture your own vidbite — like a soundbite but more fun to watch.
By the time the conference is over, as Northrup explains it, each of these pieces of “micro-journalism” combine in the multiblog environment to become a rich and complete report of the entire experience that will be the 81st INMA World Congress.