Wednesday, December 12, 2007

8th Journalism Leaders Forum to tackle the influence of digital technologies on sports reporting

There’s been quite a bit of discussion about the opportunities that digital technologies afford traditional media companies to use more platforms to create more interaction with more users around more nuanced stories and, even sometimes, to make more money.

At the start of another Olympic year, the 8th Journalism Leaders Forum on Tuesday, 29th January 2008, will consider if there's a darker side to the digital proposition by taking a closer look at developments in the world of sports.

Chairing the discussion will be Charlie Lambert (right), a veteran BBC North West sports presenter and commentator, who now runs the highly-regarded sports journalism programme at UCLan. Charlie outlines the premise for the panel discussion, which will be Webcast live, as follows:
The digital explosion has rent asunder the traditional relationship between sports journalists and the organisations they cover.

Already with many cards stacked in their favour, powerful bodies like the Football Association and individual clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool now have their own direct route to the public.

The old argument from newspaper and broadcast companies that “the clubs need the oxygen of publicity” no longer holds water. Clubs have their own media outlets including TV and radio stations and increasingly-sophisticated websites. They believe they can reach out to their customers without the need for interfering, bolshy journalists.

Clubs are increasingly using their websites as the outlet for breaking news, instead of picking up the phone to the local hack. Radio stations who access news from the sites frequently credit ‘the club website’ as their source, thus increasing the credibility of the club’s own media operation.

Does this mean that sports journalism as an independent conduit of information is on the way out?
The Forum, which coincides with the Winter residential seminar of the Journalism Leaders Programme, also helps mark 45 years of journalism at Preston, and is open to all - practitioners, academics, would-be journalists and others who are interested in the challenges of journalism in the Digital Age.

The event starts at 5:15pm with a networking reception in the foyer of Greenbank Building and the 90-minute panel discussion kicks off at 6pm . To attend, please RSVP to leaders @ ukjournalism . org . There is no charge.

If you can't be there in person, you can view the live Webcast online
and join othes in the chat room [Log in as a guest] .

Earlier the same day, we'll also be hosting an afternoon of workshops and discussions for the Digital Editors Network. For details about that event, please visit the DEN blog or link with the group on Facebook, where you'll also find the 'Journalism at Preston since 1962' group for alumni of England's oldest journalism course.

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