This was just one of the points made by BBC Technology Correspondent and blogger extraordinaire Rory Cellan-Jones at CJS this afternoon. He was very upfront about the fact that TV reporting is generally considered by most as a ‘higher’ form of journalism than online journalism. But he also made the refreshing point that having total control of one’s platform reconnects the journalist with the fundamentals of the trade.
Yesterday a colleague and I were sent onto the streets of Cardiff with an audio device, handheld video recorder and our smartphones to source a story. We interviewed a sound tech guy helping to set up the city’s Christmas Lights Switch-on event and a UWIC student dressed as a time machine.
I found that rather than focussing on good questions to elicit interesting responses, I was fiddling about trying to get the audio device near enough to the interviewees’ mouths while desperately trying not to decapitate them from shot. I think this really proves Mr Cellan-Jones’ point. Given the broadcasting platform of the interviews, I was more concerned with the mechanics of recording material rather than content.
He also pointed out the difficulty of getting a piece of journalism on air at all, citing his Spinvox story as an example. Without blogging, and the audience he has built up online, this would never have been publicised because the content is so specialist. Yet it was a huge story with massive repercussions for the technology community.
Mr Cellan-Jones conceded that TV journalism will for the moment always reach more people than a blog post. (Particularly the BBC’s News at 10 and The Today Programme) TV is showing journalists what the audience rates in news stories – audio and videos which are exclusive and which are complimentary to the story.
Can blogging emulate this? If journalists continue to build their online reputation, draw in more followers and ultimately begin to receive the crucial images/videos sent in by members of the public… Why the hell not?
Ending this post with a link to a video about Citizen Journalism vs Traditional Journalism which I came across when researching for this post. It’s a little out of date now and a bit long but I think some of its points are still relevant. Plus, I realised about 10 seconds into my first viewing of it that one of its creators is a guy I met in Australia a couple of months ago… Small world…