Hiram Enriquez, programming director of Yahoo! Hispanic Americas, spoke about the future of publishing on a panel Thursday. Here, he describes how the forms of media have changed.
On the evolving role of media
Enriquez said that traditional media formats aren't working anymore; readers need to feel more engaged in the process and the topic. "We are creating areas that are based on content or a particular thing, an event ... where we can provide a platform for people to come together around a certain niche," he said.
On why what is old is new again
He said that the digital arenas provide users new places to connect, like the old water-cooler and townhall meetings. Information is a two-way street. "This new medium is somewhere people can self-select where they go," he said, adding that "identities are not as fixed as when they were in the past."
On the changing sources of news
Sometimes traditional media miss the story, he said. He referred to the West Virginia mining tragedy last year when erroneous reports said 13 miners were alive, when all but one were dead. Bloggers explored mine safety issues that he said were being ignored by mainstream press.
The bloggers "actually forced the mainstream media to pay attention to those issues that otherwise wouldn't have been paid attention to because they were focusing on the traditional media media events, which are the press release, press conference etc."
On why this era is called the age of "second media"
This is the term that has been used academically in terms of the paradigm shift in communication, he said. In the past, people had to go through an intermediary before reaching a news gatekeeper.
"Now it's different. Now everything online is occuring on a single digital plane. Everyone is in the same environment, on the Internet."
On what's next
"I wish I could forsee what it would be, because I'd be rich."