For our next Journalist One-On-One, we had a chance to catch up with veteran journalist Dorian Benkoil. In addition to writing about digital media, Dorian also co-founded Teeming Media and launched the Mediathon, which is a hack-a-thon for media makers. He also teaches Digital Media Management as an adjunct professor at Baruch College. Dorian's wisdom spans a 30 year journalism career, and it's always a pleasure to get his insights on the things moving the media industry today. You can follow him at @dbenk.
1. You started your career in journalism nearly 30 years ago and have worked for Newsweek, The Associated Press, ABC News and Mediabistro. What are one or two of the most striking changes you've seen in regards to media and news over the years?
Accountability. Journalists can now be fact-checked by the community and made to account for their actions or reports. They’re put under the same scrutiny and transparency requirements as their subjects.
2. Back when you were regularly writing and editing for media outlets, where did most of your story ideas come from? PR folks? Agencies? Direct from companies? What helps capture your attention and interest today?
Mostly from observation and conversations. Sometimes from observing an internal paragraph or mention of something that was lower down in another story, or a trend I saw that hadn’t been seen. Or from events that needed to be covered. Occasionally, when I was assigned, I assume the story came from a PR person, but did not have direct contact with them. Today, what captures my attention is something that’s a trend or new wrinkle I’m seeing and hearing but that isn’t in the zeitgeist. Not one product or service, but multiple angles that get at the same issue or quandary.
3. What's your one piece of advice for building relationships with busy reporters -- and has that advice changed from when you first started as a journalist to today?
Be genuine and helpful. Don’t pitch stories that aren’t relevant to what the reporter is doing.
4. Where do you see digital media heading in the next five years? In a world full of listicles and tweets, is there still room for long form journalism (apart from the major daily papers)?
Yes. Medium seems to prove it. BuzzFeed seems to show there is room for both. Politico. And what is “long-form”? 1,000 words? 3,500? A thought-provoking list-icle could be long-form, and take a long time to construct and conceive.
5. What's your take on the native advertising debate and the role it plays in today's media?
It’s fine, as long as it’s done transparently and well. It is very hard to make it scale.
6. You've written a bit in the past about the clickbait / ad traffic phenomena. There was a big Bloomberg piece recently diving into this topic. Your reaction in a nutshell?
There will be a constant battle, a cat-and-mouse game, between using technologies effectively and thwarting those who would misuse them for illicit gain.
7. Tell us about what you do at Teeming Media, including the Mediathon you've put together.
Teeming Media: Devise and execute business, media and content strategies for publishers, brands and technology companies. Focus on media- and advertising technology. Research, analyze and implement business processes, workflows, measurement and technology for digital and social media.
The Mediathon: A Mediathon is a hack-a-thon for media makers. For a day or a weekend, we get together to create, collaborate, and compete, making media around a specific theme. Boundaries will be stretched, networks will expand, and fun will be had! The Mediathon facilitates collaborative production of innovative original content. Our mission is to interrupt the status quo, inspire new directions and promote media that informs and delights those who consume and create it. We also foster great conversation among experts and thought-leaders and the assembled.
8. When it comes to media consumption, what are your top 'must-read' news sites or 'must- watch' shows for you every day?
Re/Code, Business Insider, MediaShift, NYT, WSJ, On The Media, AdExchanger
- February 2019
- Dec 17, 2018 Why Venture Capital Firms Need Content Marketing Dec 17, 2018
- Aug 13, 2018 Why Things Don't Go Viral Anymore Aug 13, 2018
- June 2018
- May 30, 2018 Starbucks' store closure is over-the-top and just what is needed May 30, 2018
- Apr 24, 2018 Why Subscription-Based News is the Future Apr 24, 2018
- Apr 23, 2018 Philadelphia Has What It Takes — Amazon Or No Amazon Apr 23, 2018
- Apr 19, 2018 By Forgetting Its Story, Gibson Guitar Is Taking The Stairway To Heaven Apr 19, 2018
- Jan 9, 2018 Intel is bungling it's Meltdown messaging. Here's how to fix it. Jan 9, 2018
- Nov 24, 2017 What History Teaches Us About Storytelling Nov 24, 2017
- Oct 24, 2017 Three Hot Topics to Address Within Your IIoT Story Oct 24, 2017
- Sep 18, 2017 Venture Capital and Public Relations: A Perfect Union Sep 18, 2017
- Aug 22, 2017 Drone Companies Rise Above the Swarm - 3 Ways Your Drone Company Can Stand Out Aug 22, 2017
- Aug 7, 2017 Drone Companies Take Flight: 3 Tips for Effective Storytelling Aug 7, 2017
- Apr 17, 2017 Indicate Media Captures The News: Monday, April 17th, 2017 Apr 17, 2017
- Apr 10, 2017 Indicate Media Captures The News: April 10, 2017 Apr 10, 2017
- Apr 3, 2017 Indicate Media Captures The News: April 3, 2017 Apr 3, 2017
- Mar 27, 2017 Indicate Media Captures The News: Monday, March 27, 2017 Mar 27, 2017
- Mar 20, 2017 Indicate Media Captures The News: March 20, 2017 Mar 20, 2017
- Mar 13, 2017 Indicate Media Captures The News: March 13, 2017 Mar 13, 2017
- Mar 6, 2017 Indicate Media Captures The News: March 6, 2017 Mar 6, 2017
- Jan 31, 2017 Why 'On Time' Can Make or Break Your Brand Jan 31, 2017
- Nov 10, 2016 Looking to Boost Your Business with PR? 5 Tips from a Pro Nov 10, 2016
- Sep 12, 2016 Indicate Media Captures The News: September 12, 2016 Sep 12, 2016
- August 2016
- Jul 25, 2016 Indicate Media Captures The News: July 25, 2016 Jul 25, 2016
- Jul 18, 2016 Indicate Media Captures The News: July 18, 2016 Jul 18, 2016
- Jul 5, 2016 Why Winning The Moment Still Matters: Series Finale Jul 5, 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- Jan 4, 2016 Indicate Media Expert One-On-One Series - Nick Klenske Jan 4, 2016
- Dec 21, 2015 Indicate Media Expert One-On-One Series - Taunya Renson-Martin Dec 21, 2015
- Dec 14, 2015 Indicate Media Journalist One-On-One Series - Michael Humphrey Dec 14, 2015
- Dec 9, 2015 Advancing solar and building energy technology Dec 9, 2015
- Nov 23, 2015 Indicate Media Journalist One-On-One - Dorian Benkoil Nov 23, 2015
- Oct 14, 2015 What We Can Learn From Past Presidents and Their PR Teams Oct 14, 2015
- Oct 8, 2015 How Personalization In Storytelling Will Change Your Business for the Better Oct 8, 2015
- Sep 30, 2015 How Great Branding Turned These Products Into Household Names Sep 30, 2015
- Sep 25, 2015 Indicate Media Journalist One-On-One Series - Alyson Shontell Sep 25, 2015
- Sep 16, 2015 Indicate Media Journalist One-On-One Series - Kavi Guppta Sep 16, 2015
- Aug 25, 2015 How Early Stage Companies Can Navigate the Crisis Minefield Aug 25, 2015
- Aug 10, 2015 Indicate Media One-On-One Journalist Series: Stuart Elliott Aug 10, 2015
- Aug 3, 2015 You have 60 seconds to tell your story: GO! Aug 3, 2015
- Jul 29, 2015 Indicate Media One-On-One Journalist Series - Jennifer Kite-Powell Jul 29, 2015
- Jun 30, 2015 Three Business Areas Where You Can Sync Up Storytelling Jun 30, 2015
- Jun 25, 2015 Successful Communication: The General Idea Jun 25, 2015
- Jun 24, 2015 Five Communication and Pitching Tips for Entrepreneurs Jun 24, 2015
- Jun 23, 2015 You Have 60 seconds to tell your story: GO! Jun 23, 2015