got me thinking. I met @Biz (Biz Stone, one of the Founders of Twitter in November 2009, very briefly) I made a short video (which I’ve never published for reasons I’ll tell you if you ask!) of a bit of a talk he gave in answer to a question from the audience. Here it is:
The Future of Newsgathering and the Changing Media Landscape
Whistling in the dark at #fng12
Storified by Brian_Condon · Sun, Jul 01 2012 15:27:06
Frontline Club – Events: THIRD PARTY EVENT: The future of newsgathering and the changing media landscape19.00 Keynote speaker: Gavin Sheppard, marketing director, Media Trust. 19.30 Panel discussion: The future of newsgathering and the changing media landscape Change in the media landscape is constant. Technology and new media has enabled both journalists and citizens on the street to actually break news themselves.
The panel is Paul Lewis (Guardian), Matthew Eltringham (BBC College of Journalism), Mark Evans (Sky News), Gavin Sheppard (Media Trust) and Ravin Sampat (Blottr) – moderated by Nikki Bedi (BBC)
#FNG12 has started. Intro with @nikkibedi pic.twitter.com/jBRxfyBkKaty Durrans
Nikki Bedi is reading out the panel’s Twitter profiles at #fng12 twitpic.com/a1k9uvBrian_Condon
Gavin says he feels like “a junior Minister on Newsnight” as he’s not an esteemed journalist or a newsgatherer. He notes the fundamental shift in the production and consumption of media. He says 91% of adults use a mobile phone – lots of them smartphones.
.@gavinmediatrust giving keynote speech at #FNG12 "communities no longer prepared to sit back" and merely absorb mainstream media
Somewhat odd there’s no blogger or community reporter on the panel #fng12 @johnpopham would’ve been good.
As the news environment gets noisier people will appreciate the comment and analysis from mainstream more and more. @GavinMediaTrust #FNG12
#fng12 Decent turnout despite the football! @mediatrust @blottr pic.twitter.com/BdDZRO80Katrine Carstens
Challenges are about needing to take a view much more quickly whether you are a journalist or a politician as a story can gather pace in hours or minutes. People have more technology in their pockets than news organisations had 10 years ago.
#FNG12 @GavinMediaTrust says communities are no longer willing to be bystanders they can circumnavigate media to get voices heard
Playing journobuzzword bingo at #fng12 MSM, UGC, validation, citizen journalism, it’s too easy!
Opportunity for community produced media needs to be treated as ‘a contribution’ and possibly paid for. There’s lots of it out there – and some of it is high quality and very good; well linked to communities and their concerns – he argues.
RT @Media_Trust: Local news for local communities is a valid and important contribution to the mainstream. @GavinMediaTrust #FNG12
Collaboration is what’s happening now. People are recording, sharing. That’s journalistic. @PaulLewis #FNG12
#FNG12 @PaulLewis poses question, what would happen if there were no paid journalists? In riots citizen journalists filled gaps in reporting
Nikki is asking Ravin if “journalism has moved beyond the stereotype” – mentions coffee swilling reporter typing frantically typing against a deadline. Ravin says we have a 24hr news cycle and news apps, with Twitter being a new source. Consumption is changing so production must – he argues. Technology and people have changed and the combination of these new ways of generating content and news has changed how broadcasters need to behave.
#FNG12 Ravin from @blottr is questioning what the difference is between a professional and citizen journalist
Paul observes that we do more than we could and we can certainly do better. What’s happening is the symbiotic relationship Gavin mentioned – and this opens up new avenues to explore and increased transparency. But it is difficult – where might we end up? Fewer being paid to do journalism but more people doing what might be described as journalism. The riots last year showed that. Between 1 and 4 am Sky and the BBC had to pull out of the area. But the was a constant feed of information online.
#fng12 Check out Swedish Radio project Journalism 3.0 creating symbiosis between user generated content and traditional journalism
#FNG12 @nikkibedi "always the risk of disinformation" @PaulLewis "there has always been disinformation" but social media also regulates self
#FNG12 @GavinMediaTrust if community produced media is embraced by the mainstream media it will only ensure a wider diversity of reporting
Social media is viral media and it can be self-regulating argues Paul.
Matthew arguing that the verification of the content produced by local or citizen journalists is an important part of the BBC’s approach; such material needs to be forensically examined and verified.
#FNG12 @skymarkevans says citizen journalism isn’t new, he’s always used parish magazines etc as a news gathering source
Nikki asks Mark about Sky News’ policies and he agrees that they have changed – and Sky don’t reTweet any other news organisation’s tweets. Here’s the first google entry if you search for that! From the Guardian:
Sky News clamps down on Twitter useSky News has told its journalists not to repost information from any Twitter users who are not an employee of the broadcaster. An email to staff on Tuesday laid out new social media guidelines for Sky News employees, including a contentious ban on retweeting rival "journalists or people on Twitter".
Paul is arguing that news is also about trust – and the liveblog is an important new aspect. Some news organisations are not that trusted he argues. Mark says that analysis and brand recognition are still important. He thinks that the power of a brand combined with the value added by verification and analysis are sufficient to deliver sustainable business. @KatyBlotter notes:
#FNG12 @skymarkevans "not the keepers of information anymore…we have a role to play in terms of validation…analysis"
And @Stuartdhughes agrees:
. @skymarkevans quite right – verifying stories gathered via social media isn’t a new skill for journalists #fng12
#FNG12 @GavinMediaTrust citizen journalism and prof journalism don’t replace eachother, but they should work together to benefit public most
#FNG12 @PaulLewis "users/readers as good or better" at commenting on live football in this example
Matthew says a mixed model is where a lot of journalism is going and he says it’s challenging and interesting to the BBC.
Paul Lewis says “it’s not just trust” it’s also about the quality of writing and investigation. He mentions ‘grey news’ and the need for verification. And the propagation of material which needs to be checked. Matthew says that just the fact that the BBC and Sky are asking ‘is this true’ gives it credence.
Panel now focusing on the use of false stories to generate attention and drive traffic to websites; and the ethics of later “withdrawing” a story.
Question about the process for verifying sources of news on Twitter – “You never pay them do you?” Nikki asks Ravin. Ravin says “No. Never.”.
#FNG12 debating methods of checking socmed sources. Journos need to be quick if it’s already on socmed but doesn’t mean it’s true
Paul mentions the construction of false identities online – and agrees that “We have made mistakes”. In dealing with something new, and taking risks, mistakes are going to happen.
Ravin says “it’s the way we’re changing and we want it now” – Nikki agrees.
What about the future asks a participant [he didn’t give his name]; he’s concerned that the ‘trusted brands’ won’t be here in the future. Mark says we are talking about the ways in which we will help journalism survive. There may be new brands that can be trusted – and young people interact with the big brands differently.
Mark arguing that the mobile device is revolutionising newsgathering and this may mean that brands we have now may not exist. But there will be trusted brands.
#FNG12 @seancurtisward asks whats the financial model – when will citizen journos get paid for their contributions to media
Paul arguing there’s little money about – and there will be less. But there is abundance and chaos- and the difficulty for everyone is is working out how to access and find the news they need.
#FNG12 "all journalism is going online" newspapers and tv @PaulLewis @Blottr
The event finishes with Nikki thanks the sponsors, participants and panel members, conversations begin and the panelists stand and as they do, I hear the following and immediately Tweet:
"No community panel members" says @skymarkevans wryly. The panel laughs. #fng12.
As the room clears, I have a quick look at the Storify copy, republish, and make this Audio boo:
Immediate reflections on the Future of NewsgatheringAn Audioboo by brian_condon
You might also be interested in the ‘reach’ of the event; here’s a Tweetreach report:
Twitter Reach Report Results for #fng12Activity provides details about the tweets in this report, including the total number of tweets and unique contributors, the time period covered by the report, a graphical timeline showing tweet volume during the report period, and tweet type breakdown.
Two words not mentioned at #FNG12 "blogger" and "#leveson"Brian_Condon
Since the event, there’s been some further comment on Twitter:
#FNG12 been thinking: Sometimes my job feels like media for community development, sometimes it feels like community for media developmentKim Townsend
future of Newsgathering? The likes of @_sampat and @Blottr staying one step ahead of the wires with credible grassroots journalism #fng12Stuart Hughes
The Mass Observation panel at Future Everything caused a bit of a spat (polite, of course) when Pauline from the BBC in Liverpool described social media as “cave painting” and “tweeting about having a latte”.
Some tweeting around the panel sessiom
Storified by Brian_Condon · Fri, May 18 2012 01:42:23
Conference Panel: Mass Observation | FutureEverythingFutureEverything Conference Panel: Mass Observation 2012 is the 75th Anniversary of the Mass Observation Movement. FutureEverything has been working with the current custodians of the Mass Observation archive to explore the relevance of the movement in today’s new participatory culture.
I was late to this panel as the previous session I was in overran. And live blogging @rohan_21awake’s keynote was intense – so rather than a full liveblog this is a few notes, pictures and tweets from a really interesting discussion session.
The Mass Observation panel at #futr with @fionacourage, @billt et al instagr.am/p/KuU7ZnStk7/Martin Bryant
Hearing about story-telling and how it can be incorporated into local archives.
Interesting start on theme of mass observation at #futr
Bill Thompson says hat cameras in domestic use were unusual in the 1930s and we now need new metaphors.
Need to ask ourselves "what is worth keeping" but we can’t know and lots of BBC’s archive is ‘incidental’ #futr @billt twitpic.com/9lz8y6
Love it! @billt calling for death of spreadsheet to make it as easy as possible to mange, use & play with metadata #futr #massobservation
Social media is really just cave painting in the 21c! This is the world of an archivest #futr
Bloody hell. The bbc lady on mass observation panel is a social network hater and wants to edit online histories. #handbagsatdawn #futr
at #futr – @daveaddey listening to @brian_condonundefined
What are the implications for access if corporations own most of our online data? #futr
#futr Not mentioned so far: Video Nation was a BBC project that was based on Mass Observation and pioneered video blogging.
Pauline keeps coming back to the central importance of the function of the Editor and selector of content. I disagreed with her especially on her attitude to social media. Paulne kicked up a bit of a stir – which was good fun. Bill Thompson displayed perhaps another face of the BBC. This Storify is, of course, one aspect of social media which does not involve “Tweeting about having a latte” as Pauline described it…
Really good discussion with interesting ‘play’ between arty publishing people on the platform and ‘geek-ridden’ audience.
A lot of the geekier people want to use lots of wizzy social media tools. Speakers suggested it might be a good idea to sit round a table and talk to people before haring off doing systems development. One thing I do agree with is the need and importance of chemistry – between the people – in making collaboration work. Session a bit on the ‘rose tinted’ glasses side of things.
A fabulous event in Liverpool that still has me thinking about the issues and means that I have to blog about it. This event really does try to ‘boundary cross’ – between the arts and technology, social media, music, geeks, non-geeks (not many!) and businesses (could be more). Overall a great event and I learnt a lot.
Here is some stuff on the opening and on the importance of narrative. The importance of stories keeps coming up in events. Especially events that have someting to do with social media. We neglect stories at our peril!
Last week’s elections and the political fallout have placed in context, for me, the event I went to at the Frontline Club on 28 May about how the Internet might play a part in the next election. The participants were:
Matthew Macgregor of Blue State Digital (the company that worked for the Obama campaign
I made contemporaneous notes and also some Audioboo content which is available here. A bit of background to the event here:
Everyone in ‘Broadcast Mode’ needs to ‘get with the program’
Iain Dale (pictured left) believes that the internet will impact individual MPs (mostly through revealing things they don’t want revealed I suspect) but that the overall ‘systemic’ effect of the internet will be small.
He agrees that the next General Election will be the first where mobile phones and social media will really begin to play a part and where bloggers will cause changes in the news cycle:
“We get more hits every day than all the 3 main parties put together”
He said referring to the traffic generated by his blog and by Guido Fawkes’.
The problem is the main parties are in ‘Broadcast Mode’ and that given British politics is driven by ‘controlling the message’ the level of interactivity of social media is a challenge. As Matthew Macgregor said “The internet is a tactic not a strategy” and that it lowers the barriers to communication (especially inbound to the Party) but how real is the commitment to ‘openness and transparency’. The reaction of the media to policy discussions driven by social media will, Matthew believes, be instructive; will the shutters come down once the media starts talking about ‘splits’.
“There’s nothing to click on other than ‘Unsubscribe'” – Matthew Macgregor
Alex Smith believes that “The Internet will play a crucial role in the next election” – he mentions viral video and the possibility of debate being shaped by the internet. He argues that the internet has “already effectively removed one of the Prime Minister’s closest political aides” and that the next election will to some extent be driven by stories that will “break on the web”. Alex believes that Paul and Iain have a huge impact on the media cycle and thinks that this will be an important factor. All the panelists agreed that the Internet strategies of the main parties were poor at best.
Boulton’s shock hashtag confession
At one point when talking about social media and the internet Adam Boulton said he didn’t know what a hashtag was (and I don’t think he was joking!) and references to the internet seemed to feel like references to some kind of monolithic bloc. Alex picked up the point that realtime interaction driven by things like Twitter might be important. Adam seemed to think that a Sky news team would always be faster on the ground.
The next Boo starts with the voices of Alex Smith (interesting references to Alan Johnson) and then Iain Dale. I round off with a few thoughts.
The next Boo has ‘reportage’ – skip it if you feel you have enough of a flavour from the text above.
Reflections and implications
The format worked well with a fairly formal panel session followed by various panelists joining tables and moving between courses. The informal part of the event was really good – we had Iain Dale and Alex Smith and the comments and discussion were very engaging.
The event would have been improved by a more discursive (and less ‘Question Time’) approach by the chair. Also, having a chair who seemed quite cheerful to admit that he didn’t ‘get’ the internet seems odd – but then presumably Adam ‘Hashtag’ Boulton was a draw for the ‘punters’ (especially the non-geeks)! All in all though a minor criticism.
There were two main things I took away to think about:
The importance of internet aggregation in realtime and increasing symmetry of communication,
The potential for independent candidates to harness the power of the internet to disintermediate the major parties.
We piled into the mini-bus after the opening event at www.futuresonic.com in Manchester. About 15 of us and the artists behind the project. The idea is to experience the same temperature change caused by 100 years of climate change (about 2 degrees) by walking through a Manchester microclimate.
We arrive in a street in Trafford and are given mp3 players which will guide us through the experience. We walk and the somewhat hypnotic voice guides us. Also does good jokes! It’s light-hearted but striking. You can hear a bit of a recording I made using Audioboo here as we went on the event. And my thoughts this morning here.
Thanks and congratulations to Yara El-Sherbini, Drew Hamment, Carlo Buontempo and Alfie Dennan.