A blog post by the Economist from the South by Southwest (SXSW) event in Texas takes a closer look at a much retweeted tweet: “@robinsloan The way to cover big news in 2011 is not “here’s what happened.” It’s “here’s how to follow the story” http://t.co/sMqGOuh”.
You might say that you don’t need to be a journalist to cobble together a list of links. But actually, given the huge proliferation of sources these days, you do. Being able to scan a vast range of material, determine what’s reliable, relevant and sufficiently objective, decide what will actually interest your particular readers and arrange it in a way that they can use are not trivial skills.
The Churnalism debate continues with analysis from Richard Sambrook from PR agency Edelman:
Good PR is less about spin and cover ups and more about advocacy and transparency- from which some news organisations could learn. I’m asked by old colleagues, “So what terrible deeds have you had to cover up then?”. The truth of course is that “covering-up” or deceit is the worst advice to offer anyone, with a high probablilty of discovery and consequent reputational damage proven time and again. If anyone has something that needs covering up they don’t have a communications issue – they have a business issue. And spin or deceit corrodes the trust and relationships on which influence is built.
Current director of global news at the broadcaster, Sambrook announced his departure in November. At the event he’ll discuss the people and events that have shaped his career in an on-stage interview with the BBC College of Journalism’s director Vin Ray.
Richard Sambrook, who left his post as global news director of the BBC, will become PR agency Edelman’s first chief content officer and vice-president, PR week reports.
Sambrook announced his departure from the BBC in November and announced his departure date as March 2010. He said he was planning to spend more time working as a visiting fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford, before taking up a new role outside of journalism and broadcasting.
“Fighting in Gaza and Sri Lanka and the recent unrest in Iran all raised questions about how journalists can do their job when governments deny access (…) With the Israeli government relying more and more on public relations management and an increasingly sophisticated use of new media to get its message across, what is the role of the journalist in 21st century conflicts?”
The panel included Richard Sambrook, director of the BBC’s Global News division: Adrian Wells, head of foreign news, Sky News; and Jean Seaton Professor of Media History at the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute
“Gradually more power cuts – the future is more certain than you think (…) With 90 per cent certainty I can tell you that tomorrow will be Saturday.” James Woudhuysen, professor of forecasting, De Montford University
“Content is not king, it’s about how people use it. SMS is one of the most expensive mediums but still massively popular.” Matt Locke, commissioning editor, education new media, Channel 4
The above quotes were just a small sample of the varied and interesting points discussed at Media Futures 2009 in London last Friday.
The conference explored the future of the media as we move ‘beyond broadcast’.
Themes for discussion included desirable, feasible, challenging and viable futures for the industry.
Video on Demand (VOD) was a popular topic, which divided opinions. Avner Ronen, founder of Boxee, a video service that connects your TV to online streaming media, argued that personal video recorders (PVR) were soon to be obsolete.
But as media analysts, including Toby Syfret from Enders, were quick to point out, TV still has a lot of life left in it. According to his analysis, despite the success of services such as the BBC iPlayer, watching streamed content remains a niche market with just 0.5 per cent of total viewing time being spent on computers.
Panellists were agreed on the future for local newspapers. Patrick Barwise, professor of management and marketing at London Business School said: “Local newspapers won’t come back, the classified advertising model that held them together has changed.”
After the conference I ran into Bill Thompson, the BBC’s technology columnist. Listen below to hear his views on the future for journalists:
This list is doing the rounds under the headline 100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students… and we’re not on it. Nope, not even a smidgeon of link-love for poor old Journalism.co.uk there.
The BachelorsDegreeOnline site appears to be part of e-Learners.com, but it’s not clear who put the list together. Despite their omission of our content and their rather odd descriptions (e.g: Adrian Monck: ‘Adrian Monck writes this blog about how we inform ourselves and why we do it’), we admit it is a pretty comprehensive list; excellent people and organisations we feature on the site, our blog roll and Best of Blogs mix – including many UK-based ones. There were also ones we hadn’t come across before.
In true web 2.0 self-promotional style, here are our own links which any future list-compilers might like to consider as helpful links for journalism students:
Writing this has only brought home further the realisation that omissions are par for the course with list-compilation, but it does inspire us to do our own 101 essential links for global online journalists – trainees or otherwise. We’d also like to make our list inclusive of material that is useful for, but not necessarily about, journalists: MySociety for example.
Reuters’ global community editor Mark Jones offers a useful round-up and guide of how to cover major breaking news stories, such as the recent events in Iran.
“The challenge here is to match what TV stations can do when they switch between news bulletins to rolling 24 hour coverage. Only the web ought to be able to do so much more given its scope for interactivity,” he writes.
Jones looks at how liveblogs and reporters logs are being used by news organisations, in addition to ‘aggregating validated citizen journalists’.
Prompted by Jay Rosen’s recent critique of the ‘He Said She Said’ news formula, Richard Sambrook, director of BBC Global News, offers his own take on balanced reporting on his blog.
Sambrook ‘agrees with the thrust’ of Rosen’s argument, ‘but was left uncomfortable’ for several reasons, outlined in his post.
Most interesting, is Sambrook’s reference to a critique against the formulaic approach of British TV news, made 34 years ago by John Birt, later director-general of the BBC, and Peter Jay, a Times columnist and later economics editor of the BBC. They called it ‘bias against understanding’. Birt’s argument shaped his later strategy:
“In the late 80s, instead of interviewing those caught up in the news, specialist correspondents would be interviewed to explain the significance of an event or a report. It was highly successful, building the reputation of BBC News as a quality, intelligent, authoritative service. It’s a model which persists to this day.”