“Why are we still consuming news like it’s 1899?”
That’s the question Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh has been wrestling with lately and is one that we hope to tackle with Hacking Seattle News. Huh is a journalism grad from Northwestern, one of the best J-schools in the U.S., and although he didn’t follow a traditional journalism career path (okay, not even close), he still has a passion for the presentation and consumption of news in the digital age.
“Even though it’s been more than 15 years since the Internet became a news destination, journalists and editors are still trapped in the print and TV world of message delivery,” Huh wrote in a blog post that went on to list three big problems with news now that it’s gone digital.
Huh is taking action on this problem, too, forming Project Moby Dick to develop a new way to present and deliver news. He convened a summit in July at Stanford to gather big thinkers around the problem and has a handful of people working on prototypes of new systems of news publishing more in line with the way that we consume news content today. The problem that Huh and Moby Dick are trying to solve is more global and national than what we are trying to do with Hacking Seattle News, which is locally focused. But there are many similarities.
Relying on editors serving general interests instead of using technology to serve relevant news is the main problem. News sites should know what you are interested in, know what you have read already and know “your people” who find good stuff and what they have found interesting. Think of Techmeme for tech news or Reddit for items of interest. Applying it to a local level is what we aim to do with Hacking Seattle News.