Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas captures new media/traditional media split in a single Tweet

By on June 12, 2012

In a single Tweet, I believe the Miami Herald‘s Mary Ellen Klas captures, for better and worse, the split between new media and traditional media.

At 6:08 p.m., @MaryEllenKlas Tweeted, “Before you fold up for the day, did you see NYT must read? Jeb on DC stalemate and how his Dad and Reagan would fare”

First off, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the spirit of Klas’s Tweet.  All I’m saying is it embodies two completely different mindsets.

Take the first part, “Before you fold up for the day.”  That’s exactly how someone who works in traditional media thinks.  It’s six o’clock, your story has been submitted to your editor, you’ve met your deadline, it’s time for a cocktail.

A new media blogger/reporter looks at 6:00 p.m. as simply the beginning of the second shift.  Do you think Matt Drudge shuts its down at six o’clock.  You think Ben Smith and the BuzzFeed crew are worried about deadlines?

Even the use of the word “fold” is a throwback term.  Folding, of course, can refer to paper, the staple of traditional media and the bane of new mediaists with their i-Everythings.

As for the second part – “did you see NYT must-read” – this reeks of traditional media bias. The story about “Jeb on DC stalemate and how his Dad and Reagan would fare” was posted on the New York Times website at 12:58 p.m.  The above-mentioned Smith and Co. at BuzzFeed posted their story at 8:11 a.m., in addition to publishing a stream of Tweets. Yet, Klas cites the New York Times’ story as the must-read article. Huh?

Of course, I was one of many jack-asses who Tweeted yesterday that the Commerce Secretary must have been drunk after being involved in two hit-and-run accidents. Turns out, alcohol was not involved and that he had a seizure. Klas and Co. would never have been so flippant with their words.

So, please, don’t read too much into this. Klas is an ace reporter.  I just think her Tweet reveals a lot in just 140 characters.

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