Twitter Is Not Enough: 6 Needs Of Investigative Journalism #futureofnews May 21, 2011Posted by Bernard Lunn in Blogging, Journalism.
See earlier post on Investigative Journalism Needs More Than Curation Tools for context.
1. The reporter must be able to control the URL and the monetization. News that goes to closed social networks that monetize the free contributions cannot be sustainable. Journalism has to be paid for. We can use social media to listen (Twitter Lists are just the old “little black book” of sources) and to promote stories and get incoming links. But journalists who want to make a living cannot simply make the social media founders/investors rich.
2. The reporter must be able to contribute news using the lowest common denominator tools: mobile phones and email. Expensive, proprietary tools will be a barrier. Even a free app that has to be downloaded before one can contribute, will be a barrier. The person who happens to be “on the spot” where the news is breaking must be able to report what is happening.
3. The reporter must be be able to publish automatically on real time without asking anybody’s permission. This is the gift of the social media age. Yes, this same tool can be used by spammers, scammers and hacks paid directly by special interests. That is the price of openness and the reason why the next point is so important; but the alternative (control by a few media moguls) is worse.
4. The reporter must be able to proactively choose sources and ask them for specific contributions. Relying on curating existing flows on social networks is reactive and not the essence of journalism. This capability must be available to the single individual (the “person formerly known as blogger” and occasionally called citizen journalist) as well as media organizations large and small.
5. The reporter must be able to request payment in various forms. This won’t apply to salaried reporters working for large media organizations. But all forms of free agent reporter are likely to create the majority of news content in the future and they should be able to request payment in whatever means makes sense to them – non-monetary recognition, stringer type retainers, per item fees. For example, the person who records a key moment of history should be able to get paid by the highest bidder, unless they have contracted with another news organization before the event.
6. Text is not enough, we need millions of TV stations. Mobile video is a reality and consumers want the old lean back TV experience with an interactive twist. Everyman can be a TV anchor replaces the earlier blogging dream of everybody can be a published writer.