nmkforum2007: journalism & “user generated content”

Although packed to the rafters with good participants (too many of them?), the Media, Publishing and Advertising Panel was somewhat directionless for the first twenty minutes or so. Then they started talking about journalism – below are some rough notes:

Tom Bureau, C-Net: “When you are in a special interest environment.. the question has to be, who knows more about the subject, our journalists [who are experts who study and write about this all the time] or a cross section of the audience… of the hundreds of thousands of users, there will be 7 or 15 who [know more than we do]… obviously they might not have the presenatation skills to tell a story that the journalists do…jounalists need to understand [how to find and use this stuff]”

Ashley Norris, Shiny Media: “There are an awful lots of journalists out there who despise new media… some of the social media stuff that is bolted on, especially on the newspaper sites, are just asking them for user generated comments or whatever… they don’t link out… even the BBC Blogs don’t link out much to the British Blogosphere, which is thriving… the journalists need showing how to do it.”

Jem Stone, BBC: “It’s not because the bloggers don’t respect [the fact that there is good content on blogs]… they just don’t know where to find it.”

Nico Macdonald, Spy: Nico wants to see high level discussion and debate in context with current affairs and news content…

Someone on the floor: If we want to increase the level of trust people have in journalists and journalism, shouldn’t we just hire better people? Aren’t we placing too much emphasis on “getting our audiences to do our work for us for free…”

Jem Stone, BBC: “It certainly isn’t cheap…”

Tom Bureau, C-Net: “We don’t believe this is a replacement or substitute for fantastic journalism, but we realise in specific areas, there are individuals with knowledge they want to share and that enriches and enlivens [our content]…”

Kevin Anderson, Guardian (from the floor): Not all bloggers are journalists, not all journalists are bloggers… “I would much rather have a journalist who wants to interact with people than to get the biggest names to do it… we need to focus on people who have the interaction skills to deal with the public.”

[Other people probably blogged more about this panel – feel free to drop your URL into a comment here.]