Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Diverse panel and audience agree: 'It's still about the audience'

The panellists and the audience of the inaugural Journalism Leaders Forum could not have been much more diverse.

But they all agreed on one point.

Perhaps the greatest question journalism leaders should be asking in the 21st Century is simply this: How are audiences best served?

That should still be the key concern whether journalism leaders are tackling the challenges of reporting and disseminating news under an oppressive political regime, such as Wilf Mbanga of The Zimbabwean is. Or straining under the relentless demands of profit-hungry shareholders, which pressurises regional newspaper editors such as UK Society President Keith Sutton. Or grappling with the uncertainties of making journalism in a context of technological-savvy audiences, which concerns Mary Glick and others at the American Press Institute in Virginia, UK.

You can watch an edited version of the lively discussion here.

Want to know even more? Check out Journalism Leaders Programme course leader François Nel’s in-depth interview with Wilf Mbanga. The first in a series of 'Conversations with Journalism Leaders' is available for viewing* here [recommended for broadband connections] and here [recommended for dial-up connections].

Amongst the questions Mbanga answers is this: Why, as the then-head of the Zimbabwe International News Agency, did he not report on the 1980s massacre of tens of thousands of civilians by President Robert Mugabe's North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade?

Of course, don’t hesitate to post your comments on this blog, too.

Mark your calendar : The next Journalism Leaders Forum at 6:30pm GMT on Tuesday, 31 January 2006, will be chaired by Nigel Kay, who has been a BBC journalist for more than 30 years. When he left the corporation in October 2005 he was the professional line manager for 3000 television, radio and online journalists working in the BBC’s Nations and Regions. We hope you can join us in Preston, or online.

* These videos require RealPlayer software, which can be downloaded for free here.


François Nel said...

Not surprisingly, Dan Gillmor's Letter to the Bayosphere Community on Tuesday announcing the end of his involvement in the citizen journalism venture has got the blogosphere buzzing.

Steve Yelvington, Bayosphere and failing forward
Tim Porter,Citizen Journalism: Making New Mistakes
Online News Squared,Tide Goes Out at Bayosphere

François Nel said...

This from Jemima Kiss at
The UK's National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has launched a code of practice for publishers of citizen journalism designed to encourage responsible and ethical use of user-generated material.