I learnt lots yesterday. I learnt that linked data is the future of the web (when the government pulls its finger out). I learnt that we are starting to understand that a ‘good’ community cannot be judged on its size and must be part of the newsroom. And I learnt that we can use games to tell stories.
Then after a long day live blogging News:rewired I came home to read this from Adam Westbrook, titled: Goodbye mainstream media. It’s been fun and I just thought ‘Yes’. Adam managed to articulate some of the things I have been thinking (and many things I haven’t) in one succinct post.
I see it as a call to arms for all young journalists, for all of you at City who are applying to the Telegraph’s graduate scheme, to all of us happy with a job in the mainstream press. It is time to take our future into our own hands.
I very much agree with Adam that there will always be a place for the mainstream media, it will always need good journalists and there is no doubting you will learn a lot (I can vouch for that), but why work for someone, when you can work for yourself? (Sod job security)
We are the next generation of journalists and we shouldn’t be afraid to help shape the indsutry we want to work in – this will be done through startups, people taking risks, high quality story telling, strong community engagement and great journalism unrestricted by the beat of the mainstream media deadline half truth machine.
Some of the discussion at today’s conference was weak, in some instances we were getting a lot of examples of what other people are up to, rather than people like Ed Walker who are simply practising what they preach on a day to day basis.
Sometimes I cannot help but feel it would be better for people to pick up their pen/paper/iPhone/camera/mic and just go out and get stuck in – the best way to learn is by making mistakes anyway. (When catching up with Martin Belam he reminded us that at some point we will screw something up big time with Hacks – but that is all part of the course)
Despite being disappointed with some of the discussion (seriously only a tiny bit) the overall day was incredibly inspiring. I have left Microsoft HQ brimming with ideas and only wishing that I had the time and energy to start on all the projects I have in my head.
Thinking about how best we can develop communities, how we can develop our relationship with our readers, how we can use new tech to tell old stories in a better way, how we can give better and greater context to how we understand the world – these are fascinating conversations and ones that more young journalists and Wannabes should be engaging in.
Lets get some conversation going, what do think? Is it time for everyone to put down the old ambitions, roll up their sleeves and readjust, or look the other way?