The question I’m going to ask everyone at SND and APME

I’m off in a few minutes to the airport to SND and APME in Las Vegas for a few nights.

Here’s the plan I’m cooking up for a little video interview project:

  • Carry my point & shoot camera.
  • Ask lots of people I meet to answer one question on video.
  • Post all the answers.
  • Edit together the best into a short promo.

So what’s the question?

That’s where you come in. Help me refine this angle, or come up with your own:

“In the media blogosphere (and media in general for that matter), we tend to talk about the problems of ‘newspapers’ as if every single publication were exactly the same.  But we all know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.  What’s the biggest obstacle you face, at your job, to innovation?”

What do you think? Am I on the right track? The goal here is to get real boots-on-ground answers from working journalists — in this case, I’m expecting most of them will be print and online designers or editors of some stripe at major metros.

I’m most interested in obstacles to innovation, but there might be a better way to word that — or even a more positive way to frame my question?

[UPDATE:] Commenters and tweeters want something more positive, something along the lines of this:

What are you doing in your organization, right now, to drive innovation?

Help me work on the question here.  Post a Seesmic video comment for super extra bonus points, and you might show up as a talking head in the video stream later this week.

5 Replies to “The question I’m going to ask everyone at SND and APME”

  1. I think the question is fine. Your challenge will be to dig deeper into the answers. My observation is that the answers will be around three topics: lack of focus/direction; lack of money; and system/technological inertia or inefficiency.

    Of course, lack of focus/direction tends to be blaming someone else for something you can address on your own. Lack of money isn’t really an obstacle as so much is available cheap or free. System problems are a true issue many places, but workarounds often exist.

    Fear of the unknown and change, well, that’s another issue.

    I’ll be interested in seeing/reading what you find. Wish I could see you there.

  2. Something that’s slightly more positive and invokes action:

    What’s the single most important change your organization could make to unleash more innovation?

  3. Make it positive and even simpler:

    “How are you innovating in your newsroom right now?”

    I think any good answer would show how obstacles were dealt with, or what roadblocks still remain. Plus give concrete, boots-on-the-ground ideas for action.

    We spend plenty of time already in the media blogosphere identifying problems, naming them, mocking them, decrying them, distributing blame for them. Let’s talk ideas.

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