Press Talk: Of landscape, tweet & contest

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian editor

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There’s a fascinating new way of looking at how the landscape has changed under the information age.

According to Michael Zimbalist, VP of research and development at The New York Times, information used to be at the center of the media experience.

Today, however, the consumer is at the center.

What does this mean?

Well, in the old days, news was scheduled for you at certain times. Your newspaper arrived every day at the same time, and your TV news was always on at the same time. So, in a way, our lives revolved around consuming information in a scheduled fashion, Zimbalist said.

Today, however, with the consumer at the center of the experience, news and information come to her at all times and from any direction.

Additionally, it is the consumer -- not the media mogul -- who is creating the information experience. The consumer decides what she wants to let in and leave out. The options are many.

Newspapers -- and all the mobile applications we are associated with -- play an important role here. That’s because what kind of information consumers decide to let in is still vital. And most consumers are still looking for vetted, verifiable and credible information.

That’s where newspapers come in.

Take the credible information, offer it up to consumers on multiple platforms and -- presto -- the mainstream media thrives.

• • •

I was thinking about this as I prepared to head to an ASNE conference early next week in D.C. ASNE used to stand for the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Now? The American Society of News Editors.

More landscape shifting.

There will be a lot of forward thinking going on at the conference. Topics like How Smartphones, Tablets and Other Digital Devices are Transforming News Consumption.

The conference will also feature speakers such as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame. Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief, Huffington Post Media Group, will also be there.

President Barack Obama is also scheduled to speak. Mitt Romney will be at the conference as well.

• • •

I’m mentioning the conference -- in part -- because my plan is to occasionally tweet from it.

Don’t have a Twitter account? Come on, man! It’s pretty easy.

Columbian reporters have one. I have one. So I urge you to follow all of us.

You can find my Twitter account at the bottom of this column. Our reporter accounts can be found on our website.

Hopefully you’ll find the tweets of interest.

So consider following me.

• • • 

Hey, a few of us in the newsroom came up with this idea of seeing what kind of neat cooking recipes might be out in Clark County.

We’re calling it Clark County’s Cookin’!

New Seasons (thanks guys) came up with some nice prices, including a $500 gift certificate.

We decided to produce a video of my top-secret homemade pizza recipe to kick the contest off. Please check it out on our website and enter. Ciao!

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, lou.brancaccio@columbian.com or Twitter: http://twitter.com/lounews