Online News Association gathering: Amen!

Online News Association gathering: Amen!
They came. They talked. They blogged. And so it was that the Online News Association (ONA) held its “Conference 2003″ in Chicago over the weekend to talk about the state of online news. Good stuff, methinks. I didn’t go, but I’ve enjoyed the various reports that have come out of the gathering, especially buzzmachine’s Jeff Jarvis, a guy whose ubiquity in the blogging world wears me out. Here are some of my thoughts on the gathering’s thoughts:

The ONA’s official coverage includes a piece on the future of online news.

Several panelists predicted a boom in video-based news as more homes acquire high-speed Internet connections. The change offers a chance to capture a new audience, said the (New York) Times’ (Leonard) Apcar. tapped into that hunger for video during the Iraq war as office users with high-speed access kept tabs on the war without leaving their desks. That access “enabled people to be involved in a way they weren’t before,” said (’s Dean) Wright, Far more visual information will be available online in the future, he added.

I couldn’t agree with this more, but it’s an amazingly tough nut to crack with broadcasters, who seem content to offer text-driven Websites.

Here’s a wonderful quote about the future from New York Times Editor-in-Chief Apcar, “We will not be wedded to the newspaper as the central core of The New York Times.” I love to hear people in positions of media authority talk this way.

Blog king, Andrew Sullivan (The Daily Dish), was a keynoter and made many insightful Postmodern observations. Here are a couple: (Thanks for these comments, Jeff) “People trust [blogs]. Not because they are authorities but because they are subjected to scrutiny day in and day out and people decide whether they like them or not.” This is a beautiful statement of Pomos respect for experience and participation and disrespect for those who pronounce the news from their pedestals. “I’m just the recipient of a collective brain. I’m just a portal for the thoughts of other minds.” This is pure Postmodern thinking, for Sullivan has completely bought into the concept of releasing command and control.

Assuming the ONA does this again next year, I promise I’ll be there.

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