Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Journalism and the Digital Revolution

When even the biggest 'old' media titans start warning of complacency among journalists about the internet, you know it is time to sit up and take notice. Rupert Murdoch's speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April 2005 is being seen as a watershed moment in the debate over the future of newspapers in the digital age. A new generation is growing up that has no particularly affinity with print. These "digital natives" want news on demand, as it happens and with full context. Even more importantly, they want to be able to interact with it and use it as a springboard for wider discussions. They are not passive consumers of news, but active participants. The lines between journalist and reader have blurred. How do we respond to this? Murdoch says the technology is there, but the culture is lagging. He says we need to listen more closely to our readers. And the web gives us a perfect venue to do so. Encouragingly, he also contends that by streamling our operations, changing the way we write and edit, we will not only improve our online product, but strengthen our printed medium. Now here's a forum for journalists and others to work out how. Please post your thoughts here.


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