Bradshaw, City University’s Visiting Professor and Online Journalism Module Leader, has always been an outrider for journalism in a new era. I first heard him at Birmingham’s JEEcamp in 2009 where he pushed journalists to use the explosion of new technology to keep in the game.
He was as tough last week, arguing that journalists’ egos were “our biggest weaknesses”. As XCity reported,
“It is ego that leads us to report on a story without linking to our sources.
It is ego that prevents us from reading the comments on our articles and updating the original accordingly.
And it is ego that leads us to ask questions like ‘Is blogging journalism?’ or its latest variant: ‘Is Twitter journalism?’”
I am sure that many journalists, students or practitioners, find this challenging. They’ve gone in to the business when print media held the monopoly on the distribution of content. And now they find that technology allows non-journalists to compete.
But even when we’ve come to terms with that, I would have made the issue of who pays for content could have been the eighth challenge in Bradshaw’s lecture. I’m not talking just about users paying subscriptions – that is pay-walls. I’m also talking about advertisers.
Either way, journalists are going to have to put those egos aside yet again as they work out how to write for what their readers are prepared to pay or for the readers to whom advertisers want to get.