Sunday, 13 December 2009

World Press Summit: Future of Journalism - scribes should explore Twitter, blogs, internet and citizen journalism to stay in competition

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 1: Journalists should explore various means of  communication including Twitter, blogs, citizen journalism and the worldwide web to reach a large section of people.
Participating in a discussion on the "Future of Journalism vs Future of the Newspaper", held as part of the World Editors Forum panel here on Monday, Paul Johnson, deputy editor in chief of The Guardian, said Twitter, blogs and the "long tail" of the web are all tools that can help journalists reach their audiences. That's what journalism is about really, letting us reach the maximum of people".
He shared some examples of in-depth, investigative stories his publication recently carried drawing resources from social networking sites and eyewitness reports.
In one case, the paper's coverage of a G20 protest included video footage from people attending the event that appeared to show police using excessive force.
Senior journalist Mahfuz Anam from Bangladesh gave a persuasive, passionate speech highlighting the errors of newspapers and the ways and means to turning it around.
Anam edits and publishes The Daily Star. "We are killing consumers with our advertisements." He, however, admitted that 80 per cent of the revenue of The Daily Stars comes from print advertisement. He said newspapers had pandered to the whims of advertisers, and in the process, neglected their readers.
According to him, the future of newspaper lies in the past. "As journalists, we must regain the moral highground in which society has placed us. Freedom of speech and press protects our democracy, our human rights," he points out.
"The newspaper business model is powerless to compensate for falling print ad revenues, and the problem is not going to go away. The print model cannot and will not migrate to the Internet, where there is a "revenue black hole," in which 76 per cent of all online revenues go to Google and Yahoo!", Timothy Balding, co-CEO of WAN-IFRA, observed at a different forum.

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Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity