Dina Rickman posed a question to me this week about the role of a reporter in our current networked age. I thought I’d expand on my response, shown above. Depending on your point of view, this is either a draft manifesto for networked journalists and bloggers – or a set of gaps in the market; new scarcities in an age of abundance. Here they are:
1. To verify & contextualise what’s online
- Because finding things to publish isn’t difficult – for anyone.
- Because the voices that stand out online are those that dig behind the statistics, or give meaning behind the headlines.
- Because curating context is as important as curating content.
2. To digitise what’s not online & make it findable
- Because in a networked world, information that’s not online is, to all intents and purposes, for most people hidden.
- Because journalists have always sought to bring hidden information to a wider audience – but in the networked era that’s no longer a one-way process. SEO, tagging, linking and social media marketing are just as important as publishing.
- Because online, information has a life of its own: adaptable, aggregatable, mashable.
3. To empower communities & make connections between
- Because the web is a tool as much as a channel.
- Because journalists have always been generalists whose strength is in making connections between diverse areas – in the networked era that role is reinvented as a connector.
- Because serving communities sometimes means looking out as much as looking in.
There may be other principles you can add (I hesitate to add ‘telling stories in new ways’, but perhaps it should be there), or other reasons. Please let me know what you think they are, and I’ll update the post accordingly.