Tuesday, 13 January 2009

"What will the role of the journalist be in ten years time?" Your guess is as good as mine.

Yesterday, I gave a talk to some journalists at the BBC about the impact of new media on journalism.

One of the questions I was asked was: "What will the role of the journalist be in ten years time?"

I didn't give a particularly good answer. (Certainly, nothing of note to put on the blog!)

I haven't thought about it much and to be honest, I'm not sure of the value of spending too long thinking about what will happen that far ahead. Here's the BBC website ten years ago. We've come a long way since then. I'm not sure many people could have predicted it.

The enquirer isn't the only one who wants to know what the future of journalism will be though. (I've already been to some 'future of journalism' conferences; I'm sure I'll go to more in the future.)

She pointed out that she felt more journalism involved "facilitating" other people's work. By which she meant receiving information and processing contributions from the people formerly known as the audience.

I wonder if this trend will continue. If it does the two concept audience-journalist divide will continue to crumble to the point where it may no longer be at all meaningful. The question: 'who is the journalist?', might be a more interesting question than: 'what is journalism?', (though the two are obviously related).

P.S. If you have a crystal ball, you can gaze in there now and stick the answer in the comments, or go old-school and send me a postcard.


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