Monday, April 27, 2009

RTNDA vs ONA

I attended RTNDA/NAB again this year. The most interesting session I attended was run by Amy Webb. Amy is on the board of directors for ONA, the Online News Association. Her session was about the top 10 tech trends journalists need to know about. She was smart, funny and informative, capturing a LOT of detail in a very digestible delivery. I was entertained and informed.

It shoudl be noted that RTNDA attendance looked devestated by the economy. The exhibitors area was nearly empty. Typically, there are dozens of exhibitors and this year there was what looked like less than a dozen. The majority of the attendees appeared to be students. I saw many professionals, but the sessions were full of students.

Two things crossed my mind while listening to Amy:

(1) Why is the best session at RTNDA actually run by someone associated with ONA? What does that and the attendance say about the future of RTNDA, or ONA? A lot of my younger journalist friends have essentially given up on RTNDA and are looking to ONA for thought leadership.

(2) Listening to Amy was refreshing and a huge improvement over listening to other consultants brow-beat late-adopters in the TV industry. Most notably, Steve Safran, has smart things to say, but the delivery has become tedious. The reception by traditional journalists is typically antagonism which seems counter-productive at this point.

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