This debate was part of World Press Freedom Day. Event information on Upcoming.org Notes posted during the event. These notes are not to be cited as direct quotes. The event was Webcast and the video has been made available as a streamed video. The audio may also be made available via the Events Podcast.
Moderator: William HorsleyFormer BBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent and current UK Chairman of the Association of European Journalists
Need to decisively demonstrate the motion if you are to vote for it.
For: Andrew KeenAuthor of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture
Journalism is not opinion: paid collection and distribution of information
New media is not killing opinion, but need to distinguish from journalism
Not against technology. New media means Web 2.0: celebration of disintermediation, freeing us from mainstream media that stands between us and the audience. Turns the media into the blogosphere. Death of professional newspaper business and journalist.
New media doesn't support a viable ecosystem
Against: Robin LustigPresenter of Newshour on BBC World Service and the World Tonight on BBC Radio 4
Does the airport bookstore kill literature, or rap poetry?
[Cites former US Today publisher on more people accessing news] When I started you could only access me in certain places. "Now you can no longer get away from me!" And I am much better informed. Thank God for Google, etc.
If Andrew were right the Financial Times would be dying. But it isn't. [Cites Bill Keller in Hugh Young lecture...] Costs and dangers of retaining reporters can't be replicated by bloggers. ocus on accuracy on accuracy rather than speed.
User-generated content: "I loathe it, I hate it" but is it a threat to journalism? No.
[Cites Peter Horrocks, BBC...] Only 1% of our visitors post. Keep it in proportion. [Cites Richard Sambrook, BBC...] On Bangladesh boat trip that had 26 Twitter followers. The message not medium is key and this will keep demand going.
For: Kim FletcherFormer editor of The Independent on Sunday and editorial director of the Telegraph group
BBC has a unique model and can act differently
Journalism is opinion as well.
How could one be against this motion. I love the pamphleteers' free-for-all.
Journalists shouldn't be keeping people out of the marketplace.
There is a really important social purpose of journalism: shining a light in dark corners.
The money is leaching out of journalism. [Reflects on decline in quality of training and increase in demands on journalism practice.] New media is pulling the money from traditional journalism.
"The Internet is completely undermining... journalism and it will continue to do so."
Against: Nazenin AnsariDiplomatic editor of the London edition of Kayhan (London), a weekly Persian language newspaper and President of the Foreign Press Association.
[Describes impact on journalism of Iranian Revolution.] The scourge of journalism is not new media but the Iranian regime.
[Describes..] Transcribing from the virtual domain to the actual one.
For an enterprise to succeed it has to be relevant to the community. Iranian journalism has a sense of purpose far beyond remuneration. "Journalism in Iran is flourishing."
Ivor Gabe, UNESCO/University of Bedfordshire: New media, including on mobile phones transforming Africa. Distinguish from UK. But will have to vote against the motion.
John Kelly, Washington Post columnist spending the year at the Reuters Institute at Oxford: Don't fall for victim mentality! Need to incorporate new media into journalism. Nick Davies might argue that PRs are killing journalism, Adrian Monck might argue that bad business decisions are responsible. And journalists are also killing journalism, eg: Jayson Blair. Bloggers don't want to kill journalism: it is the teat on which they suckle. People want transparency and interaction. Note that Jeff Jarvis has a print column and book to be published. Oppose motion.
Palati Mimi [sp?], exiled journalist: Blogger play a role in providing information that journalists aren't [?]
John Owen, City University: [to Andrew] Are you not reading Institute of War and Peace, etc. Who is paying the big salaries to columnists not journalists, and handing out free newspapers?
Hillary MacAskill [sp?], freelance journalist: distinguish communication and journalism. Internet made communication easier [?].
Keen: This is about the West [not Africa] and Web 2.0. Ariana Huffington is becoming a new Sulzberger, the Huffington Post is creating a new form of journalism, doing away with professional journalism.
Stuart Ross, University of Westminster student: investment from advertising. Keen: the money isn't there online.
Charlie Beckett, POLIS: distinguish journalism and journalist. People need more information and data than before and will even do things for free. Task of journalism is not to save jobs. Stand by journalism but embrace networked journalism and engage with the public. Offers best chance to create relevant product and re-engage trust in journalism. Share the power: does mean loss of authority) but reward will be something the public value. Against the motion.
[firstname] MacBride [sp?]: La Ligne, Bridges, and 007. New media is a bridge. Mexicans lived for years in fear of expressing opinions that were out of line. People are reaching out. Oppose motion.
Valle Toord [sp?], associated with Hungarian radio: new media has lead to content being impoverished. People stealing content from the Internet. Don't want analysis. Interested only in clicks on the page.
[11:00] Kim Moggergy, ex-BBC World Service Trust: [missed]
Ashley Norris, Shiny Media: new media emerged for a reason: dissatisfaction with existing media. Lack of trust. Look at magazines, not just newspapers. Young people fed up with being talked down to. Economic models: this will sort itself out in long run. Quality content will always appeal. [Investment] will move from other places.
Lustig: we will adapt. Media can co-exist. See Iain Dale, Politico.com. Not the death of journalism. Wait until you get classified ads on new media sites: job, houses, cars. Will take money from newspapers, but trick is to get things to merge.
Nick Jones, ex-BBC: threat to impartial reporting. Danger of light touch regulation of Internet: we are heading for politically partisan TV via the Internet; eg: Lord Levy TV clips taken from Mail site.
Fletcher: distinguish debate about freedom of expression. We are seeing a reduction in quality. Simon Heffer doesn't make a great TV figure. Has always been an agreement between advertisers and media: we pay, you ]get on with it]. We are just filling up sites with 'content'. Lustig: is Telegraph TV really killing journalism? Fletcher: taking resources from real journalism.
Donnacha DeLong: there is proper journalism online, from BBC, RTE, Guardian. But others are 'cool hunting' and stretching themselves thinly.
Keen: debate about an economic statement. Norris is right that we are seeing a cultural revolution against the authority of the journalist. Do you want the future to be networks of people on Facebook sharing news? People only trust their friends, not the journalist. Newspapers turning journalists into bloggers. Dan Gillmor terrible phrase about audience knowing more than me. See Mark Cuban on journalists losing authority by becoming bloggers.
Ansari: journalism is [missed]
Owen, Washington Post [?]:
Nico Macdonald: Talking about the West only, not Africa, Iran. Ashley Norris is right: "new media emerged for a reason: dissatisfaction with existing media. Lack of trust". Problem is not with journalism but with collapse of big ideas in society and role of media in reporting, investigating and analysing. As politician have lost authority media has stepped in to be the opposition. Problem of journalism can only be solved in political sphere. [Great potential then.] Opposing motion. Keen: trust is the big idea
Fletcher: more comfortable with little ideas than big ideas.
[11:30] Jeremy Dear, General Secretary, NUJ: potential of new media. See Rodney King, London bombings. But potential vs reality. Media organisations not training people sufficiently or giving them sufficient time. Companies that reward shareholders rather than investing in quality content are the problem.
Paul Aredale [sp?], City University and Reuters Foundation: people not spending money on journalism as quantity not quality is key. Media owners can give money to shareholders if put out poorer content.
Victor Keegan, Guardian: motion is whether new media is killing journalism, not paid journalism. Problem of lack of micro-payment system, but give it time. Fantastic opportunities.
Fiona Clary [?], Press TV [Iran's English language channel]: could blogging be a substitute
Nisara Dishan [sp?]: disagree with the motion. We can't go back: need to adapt to new technology.
Ansari: multitude of sources we can check. Change is good. Can improve quality of journalism.
Fletcher: need to address specifics of the motion. Proprietors won't change model as they don't know what they are doing. See Jeff Zucker of NBC on changing analogue dollars into digital cents. Looking for ways to save money. New media is [dynamic] that is killing journalism.
Lustig: Talking Point went to Have Your Say (phone in) which was interesting for a time. New media isn't killing journalism, though having an effect. Local papers weak? T'was ever thus. We know more about Tibet and Burma than we did about Rwanda. Most of what is out there is good.
Keen: you all like new media but that isn't the issue. But we are talking about a historical fact. Not whether it is good or bad.