Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Do you link?

Jeff Jarvis has some interesting things to say about the role of journalism in his latest Guardian Column (re-published on his blog).

His summary

News organisations can no longer afford to own, employ, and control - to vet, verify, and sanitise - everything that happens. The only way they can expand is to work cooperatively with witness-reporters, community members, experts, people who publish on their own, finding and sending readers to the best and most reliable among them. How? Via the link.

I feel a slight contradiction here. Without the role of providing the content we take on the role of providing access to the content that is out there. What makes us different from a search engine is that we apply some editorial guidelines to the process - we vet, verify and sanitise. That's supposed to be our USP in a digital age. How is that different from " finding and sending readers to the best and most reliable"

Regardless of the language used it seems that filter rather than gatekeeper. Trusted guide rather than trusted voice may become defining parts of a digital editor's role.

Update: Paul Bradshaw has a real world example of how far newspaers haev to go on this issue.

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