Jeremy Paxman interviews Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington and the Evening Standard’s Anne McElvoy on the use of non-traditional media/amateur reports from Iran and the concept of ‘curating’ this information as opposed to traditional editing.
McElvoy usefully describes the intersection of as a complex mosaic with each piece contributing subjective information – but information that requires an overview/comparison that can be added by an editor or professional journalist.
“What you have to do is to try and define what the skilled class of professional journalist actually does in that world. What makes us worth employing? We are the ones who provide accurate information: we’re not going to disappear,” he says, before asking how many bloggers can be described as authoritative.
Discussing recent journalism job losses, Mason argues that this is not the result of just the recession, but has been caused by ‘deskilling and the rise of new technology’.
Accuracy, authority and the peer review mechanism of the newsroom will safeguard journalism’s future, he adds.
“A newsroom is a real-time peer review system – that bloggers in their pyjamas can’t replicate.”
Is this really the case? Mason’s views have sparked some reactions among journo-bloggers, including Kevin Anderson and Patrick Smith: