Good journalism, I think, represents life and if you try to organise something too neatly it usually blows up in your face and doesn’t really happen the way you want it to.
The future of journalism is never what it seems and last night’s Hacks/Hackers monthly meet-up in London focused in part on this very concept.
Immersed in a room full of “Hacks” of all different backgrounds and experience levels my initial feeling of displacement made me in part feel like a fraud. Why? Because my educational background is in fact History. Something of a sore point for an Editor with zero qualifications in her specialised field. I began, like many other writers, blogging, I worked in fashion editorial and progressed to written work. Experience wise I am flush yet the traditional path of qualifications never happened for me. As oppose to this being a sore point at last night’s event, it seemed to be a recurring theme.
It turns out that journalism as we know it is undergoing something of a revolution; a revolution that I feel proud to be a part of. Simon Kelner (cx Editor of The Independent and founder of The Journalism Foundation) gave an inspirational talk about his own interpretation of this. Although his speech was fundamentally about funding, his underlying motivation behind the initiative had parallels with our own vision for One&Other.
The Journalism Foundation is a concept driven with the aim to “promote, develop and sustain free and independent journalism.” This ties in with (in part) our own vision for local media; the interactivity with our own community and giving power to the stories we promote.
This begs the recurring question into the use of citizen journalism. Although slightly different to the collaborative enforcement that we celebrate here, many are beginning to see it as the source of “real stories”. Kelner’s foundation are also keen to acknowledge it’s growing prevalence by offering “citizen journalism” training in Lincoln; yet another nod to the transience of the business.
This theme also recurred in one of the earlier “Pitch Sessions” in which Steve Butterworth of Social Media Week spoke about the use of Twitter in journalism and how it allows journalists to connect with their stories.
All in all it was great to feel this undercurrent of change within the industry that we frequent and all the prouder to help this vision become a reality.
Thank you to Joanna Geary from the Guardian for organising the event.