Civic Media Lab | Full Stack Journalism
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Full Stack Journalism

Full Stack Journalism

In the 15th century, the Movable type printing press came into existence. Its birth stripped the Roman Catholic Church of its powers in the European society. Books could now be published in their thousands, no one individual had an exclusive preserve of knowledge. Two centuries later, Gutenberg’s invention led to new formats of delivering news- the newspaper and the magazine. That is how the print media was born.

In the 19th century the telegraph stretched its long limbs across the globe. Its lengthy cables helped the British monitor an empire that ran from Africa to Asia. The telegraph helped us send clipped messages and news headlines across the world. Its entrance midwifed the News agencies, media houses have come to rely on today. At the beginning of the 20th century voices brought the news to homes and offices, through a device called the radio. These strange baritones and surpranos enabled the U.S ease the stranglehold of the British on the media. This was the first form of wireless communication and its creators called it broadcasting. Just after a decade, a superior form was added to broadcasting. Those strange voices became friends and confidants; we could now see their faces. Pictures and voices were merged to form the television. The audience could listen, read and see the news.

The U.S gained more ground in media control. With the help of satellites they were able to penetrate countries with their society and market. Three decades later, a revolution was upon us. An environment suspended in space, where all you need to merge time and space is just an internet protocol address. The invention that was taking form at the time, was coming to nullify the need for a postal zip code. The citizens of the planet could not fathom such possibilities, until the Internet unveiled its own press- the Web Press. The web is a tool of convergence. It enabled the use of all communication tools ever created and incorporated the previously impossible live chat. The communication flow was thus made most efficient. The web allows you publish in print form, broadcast form and a combination of both. At the core of every invention in information dissemination was the need to hasten the movement of news.

So all these creations led to a complete change of newsroom custom. Every technological invention gave birth to a new tradition. So what cultural era is your newsroom in? The print culture, the broadcast culture or the internet culture. The birth of the Web Press has deposed the news editor from the throne of setting the agenda of the people’s discourse. Every journalist is a news merchant. The Web has empowered the news buyers to become news sellers through the use of blogs. The citizens can now decide what they wish to talk about. The gatekeepers have lost their keys and the crowd has rushed in to free the unread words, unseen pictures and unheard voices.

At civicMedia lab, we believe newsrooms in Nigeria can reclaim the discourse by using graphics, videos, audios, animations and even mapping, to optimize that 400-500-word report.

Today’s newsroom has the license to operate as a 24 hour studio, because its tools of expression have been broadened. So journalists could allow that citizen who is playing journalist to break the news, then reclaim the story. Delivering news today is like serving a five- meal course in five minutes. A newsroom can be simulated to be a broadcast studio and a 400-word report re-purposed into a full multimedia broadcast. Join us on Thursday as we demonstrate these possibilities. At civicMedia lab, we tinker with these possibilities. We have conducted two workshops on optimizing a text based report using graphics, videos and interviews. A simple news story can be transformed into a project reported in a ten story package and the delivery of a innovative solution to a targeted problem.

For more details about the dynamism of the web powered journalist, you are welcomed to send us a mail at

#Journalism goes beyond reporting.

#let’s reclaim our narrative.

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