Technology changes reporting

It’s amazing how much technology has influenced my reporting.

Ten years ago, I had to go to the conference room to get Internet access, which was dial-up and slow.

On Friday, I sat at my desk and pulled up an online video feed to view the governor’s press conference about his budget.

You see, I was only interested in one small sliver of the big ol’ state budget. I only report on what happens to environmental programs and environmental agencies.

The governor had said earlier this month that he was considering merging the Department of Natural Resources and teh Maryland Department of the Environment. On my beat, that would be a huge deal, so I needed to see if he followed through on that idea.

But rather than drive over to the State House and sit through the whole song-and-dance in the Governor’s Reception Room — which undoubtedly was packed — I got to see it all happen from the comfort of my desk in the newsroom.

The governor isn’t merging MDE and DNR after all. But he did say he was combining some environmental programs.

As the governor continued on with his remarks, I fired off an e-mail to the public information officers for MDE and DNR requesting details on the governor’s proposal.

By the time the governor finished his remarks and Q&A session, I had already done a phone interview with a deputy natural resources secretary and had all the information I needed. (It turns out, the shuffling of certain programs was relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.)

I typed up a few quick grafs and e-mailed them over to our State House reporter. And it all was done much more quickly than if I had gone to the State House, waited for the end of the presentation, used my cell phone to interview my sources, etc.

You’d think I’d be used to the warp-speed of reporting that technology allows, but I’m sometimes still taken aback by it.

 

Screenshot shows the Internet broadcast of Gov. Martin O'Malley's press conference on his proposed budget.

If you want to see the governor’s remarks for yourself, go to:

http://cdn.livestream.com/grid/LSPlayer.swf?channel=statemaryland&color=0x000000&autoPlay=false&mute=false&iconColorOver=0xe7e7e7&iconColor=0xcccccc

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One thought on “Technology changes reporting

  1. I wonder if the newspaper business will have to learn to embrace technology from the bottom up. Reporters like you will have to expose editors to the advantages and eventually they’ll get it.

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