News companies not doing enough to embrace user-generated content - claims bureau chief
'Journalism is not high art,' says Scott Norvell, head of Fox News London
Asked if news companies were over-relying on content from users, Scott Norvell, Fox News London bureau chief, told journalism.co.uk:
"News companies are not doing enough.
"Journalism, with a capital J, needs to get to grips with the idea that what it does is not high art.
"Anyone can do their jobs. It’s not that hard to do."
Speaking at What MySpace Means, in London, Mr Norvell also said that, despite its rapid development, the popular social network site was not having a significant influence on journalists.
He told the event: "I don't think MySpace is influencing how we do our business day-to-day. We just don't trawl it looking for stories."
He added: "I still think that old media, newspapers, broadcasters, hold a huge amount of sway.
"For marketers, for example, it is more important to have a photograph of Victoria Beckham, with her G-string poking out with your firm's name on it, on the front of The Sun."
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which ownes The Sun, last year bought MySpace in a multi-million dollar deal.
Earlier this month, at the World Newspaper Congress in Moscow, Les Hinton, executive chairman of News International, announced that the company's strategy was to "protect and extend" its newspapers by developing "online and mobile audiences".
This included a plan to use The Sun as part of a broad scheme where the brand acted as hub across a range of media platforms.
Mr Norvell also told the MySpace event that users were influencing the news agenda in other ways.
He claimed the blogosphere caused the news microscope to hover over issues that may have previously been lost or ignored.
He also identified 'independent islands of commentary', a group he claimed consisted of message boards and niche-interest sites that offered an alternative way to understand zeitgeist issues and to gain new perspectives on existing news pieces.
He added that swarm sites - pressure groups and politically motivated online campaigns that take advantage of developments in technology to push specific agendas - also have direct influence on the news as they use the technology to campaign on emotive issues.
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