OJR: What ought news organizations do to encourage tech innovation from their staffs?
Holovaty: Hire programmers! It all starts with the people, really. If you want innovation, hire people who are capable of it. Hire people who know what's possible.
And once you hire the programmers, give them an environment in which they can be creative. Treat them as bona fide members of the journalism team -- not as IT robots who just do what you tell them to do.
OJR: Do you think most news managers are afraid of technology? If so, how do tech-savvy journalists overcome that?
Holovaty: I've met both types of managers -- those that are scared and those that aren't. (For the news managers who *are* afraid of technology, you can't blame 'em. It's only natural. Technology is completely changing their industry, whose rules haven't changed drastically in a long time.)
It seems the best way to overcome the fear is to emphasize that technology can be used to further the goals of journalism. It's reasonable for managers to be afraid of things they don't understand, but if you boil down the specific technology to the specific journalism problems it solves, I suspect managers would be more understanding.