Mar 10

The view from Gazeta Wyborcza

More comments on the lecture, this time from Gregory Piechota, the prolific speaker and commentator who is also in charge of special projects at the Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza. Greg thought that my definition of the core tasks of journalism needed an addition:
1) I agree de Tocqueville was right about a social role of a newspaper, or journalism in general. But I think this role is not successfully survived by online communities. I am watching how social movements rise and fall online, and I am seeing they just need traditional authority (like journalism) so much to make an impact on reality. They engage people quickly, but they disengage too. They just cannot achieve their goals if not supported, guided, or led by something or somebody that is less anonymous, less crowded, less fluid. They just need an institution (in a broad sense) and I think this role can be held by journalism, hovewer there are some others who would like to play it.
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Mar 10

News wants to be…valuable

You’ve seen the text, now read the movie: video of my lecture here.

I was going to post about the experience of being tweeted live during a lecture, but I’m going to divert to relay one or two of the most interesting comments on my lecture theme that journalists have to sharpen the definition of what they do if it’s to be recognised as valuable in a world in which previous news media business models are foundering.

First up is Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, media editor of the Financial Times, who took an original swing at the paywall issue in an edition of the FT magazine a few weeks ago and sent the link, saying “more specialisation and a sharper focus on where news organisations can add value could make it much easier to persuade readers/users/consumers that news is something worth paying for.”

I wish I’d seen that piece before writing the lecture. This is it:

If there is one orthodoxy of the past decade that the media industry has reason to curse, it was born when Stewart Brand told the 1984 Hackers’ Conference that “information wants to be free”.

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Mar 10

Is news over?

That inaugural lecture in full. A post tomorrow on the experience of having a 40-minute lecture twittered and tweeted. The video is here.

Mar 10

Brock webcast, livestreamed

I’m doing an inaugural lecture at City University London tonight and it is being livestreamed on the web at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/city-uni

Date & time: 1830 London time, Wednesday March 17.

The lecture title is “Is “news” over?” but it might perhaps have better been called: “What does “journalism” mean anymore?” It’s my attempt to define what we think we’re doing and what we should be doing. Text will be here tomorrow.

If you’re watching, you’re welcome and encouraged to email questions to the lecture chairman at isnewsover@city.ac.uk

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