November 14, 2009
#1pound40 - The Ubiquity of Reporting
One of the things that struck me at this week's 1pound40 event was this:
Wherever you looked, be it in the breaks or during the sessions, somebody was blogging, recording, uploading, twittering or otherwise recording or sharing the conference. In other words, people were reporting it. This is not a new phenomenon, of course, and it's one to be expected at an event discussing the future of news and politics. But this massive upswing in information availability amongst so many things that were once the preserve of a handful of journalists is something that still only a handful of the industry are thinking about seriously enough.
We get distracted by thinking about how the technology could enhance our existing reporting methods, or in building places that our readers can talk to each other, or in grafting a little bit of social stuff on top of our traditional work, without really facing up to the massive changes in the information ecology around us.
Richard Sambrook made the valid point that information is not the same thing as journalism, and that lead my wee brain down the thought process that we haven't really done enough thinking about how to do good journalism on top of mass reporting. What skills can we bring to highlighting, connecting and drawing out what is important in the ever growing volumes of information being presented? And how can we spot the gaps? The stuff that is needed that isn't appearing?
I go through cycles of thinking that we're barely scratching the surface of this stuff, and much more thought is needed. And cycles of thinking that we have to just get and do it. But, honestly, I suspect that we have to do both. Because reporting is getting easier, with each new device that records sound and video and pictures and has one click sharing to YouTube or Flickr or...
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