SubScribe: Role of the Journalist in the Transformed Local World Google+

Friday, 22 November 2013

Role of the Journalist in the Transformed Local World

David Montgomery's memo to Local World staff:
Role of the Journalist in the Transformed Local World
Apart from the elite and usually elitist newspaper writers the role of the journalist remains entrenched in the industrial age as a medium grade craft. Usually it is a role involving a single skill organised in hierarchies invented to ease production and work flows when typewriters, fixed line phones and pencil wielding sub-editors all inhabited long benches shrouded in cigarette smoke.
The school leaver culture of learning a trade dominated or media school graduates poured into newspapers with unquestioning academic thinking that perpetuated this industrial past.
The Local World model will migrate journalists a million miles from this tradition and because it has festered for so long the change needs to be swift and all embracing.
It will be propelled by the technology that drives every other transactional business.
Local World will develop a truly elite professional body of journalists each with managerial skills frequently exercised with full autonomy.
Underpinning our model is the need to comprehensively serve every one of communities with content that is rich and comprehensive so there is no other place than the local publisher that our audience and readers need to find.
Clearly that objective can not be fulfilled by the single story, single task practices that are still mostly at work within our and everyone else’s newspapers. Nor can the much vaunted and much misunderstood UGC sufficiently augment our offering with the right sort of content.
The role and the scope of the journalist needs to be redefined, as does the structure for content collection and dissemination, and the recruitment and training of future journalists should be reassessed. An initial framework for the latter is contained at the end of this essay.

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