“We are on the precipice of being able to communicate a much richer form of news,” said Tom Rosenstiel from the Project for Excellence in Journalism. “Don’t confuse the professional routines – the inverted pyramids etc – with the larger principles and purpose which aren’t going to change. Citizen journalists aspire to these things almost instinctively.”
- In newsroom terms, a story might have five elements in print but online that could be 35 elements.?- “The idea that journalism should be truthful didn’t come down from Mount Journalism”.
- “Bloggers are traditional journalists’ best customers. They are civicly engaged and they want to talk about stuff.”
Jon Donley, editor of New Orleans news site NOLA.com defended the authenticity of citizen journalism. While him and the news team – and most of the official organisations that provided information during the hurricane – were hunkered down in hurricane bunkers. Meanwhile a reader was trying to hammer his way out of his attic in 150 mile-an-hour winds while his neighbour’s houses floated past – and sent 82 pictures to NOLA.com. “You don’t get a much better definition of journalism than that. We were going to those people that we supposedly look down on, getting their story and writing about it – as it that somehow gives it value.”
Any Eisman said in her role at the American University she’s really teaching citizens to become journalists. Students are wonderfully involved and hungry for information but need help navigating it – and added that BBC.com is the first source for news for them because they find it the most neutral. [Discuss…]
Josh Wilson of Newsdesk.org struck a chord – are we coming to the end of a golden era of blogging? “The next five years will see the commoditisation of blogging – incentives for bloggers to produce certain types of content like gig tickets if they write positive reviews.” And that makes me think of Scoopt’s recent monetise-your-blog thing… one of several initiatives to commercialise blog content, along with increasing commercial awareness of blogs as a marketing tool – so what is the cost of that?
How do you define journalism?
Helen Thomas: Seeking the truth and telling it. No-one goes into journalism to be loved.
Josh Wilson: Conversation has a lot to do with quality control and standards.
Chris Peck, Memphis Commercial Appeal: Helping people make sense of the work around them in a way that they can understand.
Jon Donley: Giving people the information they need to make democracy work. It’s not my job to impose my world view on them but to objectively gather data and educate people. This new era includes bring them into the process.
Chris Daly, Boston University: Irreducible core is finding out stuff that people don’t want you to know.
Amy Eisman: It’s our responsibility to make sure that a diversity of voices is part of the conversation.
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