Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Retweet: Open Journalism and the way forward

The Guardian's editor Alan Rusbridger today tweeted his ten principals of open journalism, and although this site tries to shy away from strictly journalism topics (journalists more than make up for the absence here), I thought it worth retweeting the ten points:

1. It encourages participation. It invites and/or allows a response
2. It is not an inert, “us” to “them” form of publishing
3. It encourages others to initiate debate.We can follow, as well as lead.We involve others pre-publication
4. It helps form communities of joint interest around subjects, issues or individuals
5. It's open to the web. It links to, and collaborates with, other material (including services) on the web
6. It aggregates and/or curates the work of others
7. It recognizes that journalists are not the only voices of authority, expertise and interest
8. It aspires to achieve, and reflect, diversity as well as promoting shared values
9. It recognizes that publishing can be the beginning of the journalistic process rather than the end
10. It is transparent and open to challenge – including correction, clarification and addition
It's a nice list and I can not argue with anything in it.

As a publisher, what I generally object to are the efforts to make any principal of journalism into a business model. In a nutshell, this is my biggest problem with the advocates of "digital first" - they aren't so much talking about the business of the newspaper trade as they are journalism.

But you'd never know talking to them, and they'd never admit it. As a result we have popular digital media consultants advocating all sorts of odd things: ignoring new digital technologies like the iPad; ad-free models and paywall, paywalls, paywalls; calls for wanton aggregation of junk; and, of course, lots of layoffs in the name of efficiency. In other words, the digital promoters have morphed into the new conservatives – and it is their way or the highway.

None of this relates to what is going on at The Guardian. I remain interested, intrigued, and enthusiastic – especially about their willingness to market their approach.

As an example of that, here is the Three Pigs video that has sat on this site for a while but that many may have missed: