Journalism: ideally designed for democratisation?

30Jan09

Democracy at workGreat stuff from David Schlesinger, Editor in Chief of Reuters News, explaining “Why I’m Twittering From Davos Even Though I Run Reuters“.

Quoting:
“Journalism is one of the great self-declared professions and crafts. I am a journalist because I said I was one more than two decades ago and have spent the years since working on my abilities. I am not one because I am somehow anointed with a certificate or an exam result.
Journalism is ideally designed for democratisation.
Working for Reuters gives me a tremendous platform and great access. It does not give me a license.
Microblogging and macroblogging and social networks are themselves great platforms.
If great storytellers use those platforms to display their knowledge, access, expertise and abilities, I think that is a marvellous advance.
If I don’t beat the Reuters wire with a live tweet because I deliberately hold back, someone else will. If I don’t beat the Reuters wire because I’m slow or inattentive, someone else will.
The reason my live tweeting was fast is that it was unintermediated, while the journalist covering the story went the traditional route and had a discussion with an editor about how best to position and play the story.
Both methods have important roles. In this case, the editor added value.
In a democratic world where publishing platforms are available to all, editors and institutions like Reuters MUST add great value if they are to survive the competitive fight with the unintermediated storytellers.”

Too bad that many professional journalists do not see their profession as a craft to be continuosly challenged & redesigned by readers, citizen journalists, bloggers. Too bad that they do not see the value of this kind of competition and do not seek to add true value to their stories. Yes, mixing unintermediated storytelling with professionally edited content will benefit the “consumers of news”, that is: ultimately each of us, all citizens in the world. But try to tell this to most “true” journalists in Italy, for instance, it surely sounds like science fiction A GREAT DANGER to them! Aarrgghhh……
[ Read full article by David Schlesinger ]



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