In our Throwback Thursday series, we take a look at what the key figures in media were thinking in the past, based on the Journalism.co.uk archive, and how those issues can be related to the current challenges and opportunities that dominate the conversation about the digital media landscape.
Read the rest of the series here, including a special on quotes from the first two newsrewired digital journalism events organised by Journalism.co.uk in 2010.
This week, we take a look back at two subjects we covered in September 2009: media coverage of the banking crash and its ethics, and the growth of citizen journalism, which we have also observed in previous parts of this series.
Citizen journalism will remain part of changing news models, says report
The Oxford Institute for the Study of Journalism released a report that year exploring how journalists’ relationships with their audience were changing and to what extent user-generated content was a factor in that shift.
The report found that mainstream media outlets that did not allow their readers to participate in the journalism to a certain extent risked losing a part of their audience, as news consumption habits changed and the methods of engaging with news and publishers online were quickly developing.
However, the report also found the term "user-generated content" to be lacking in nuance.
"'Content' is a word that calls to mind a commodity, something bland used to fill a hole. 'Generated' isn’t much better, suggesting as it does material that’s created in some vaguely spontaneous way’," John Kelly, the author of the report, said in a press release.
'Far from scaring people, the press were providing readers with reliable information'
In 2009, Alex Brummer, the Daily Mail’s City editor, answered questions about media coverage of the banking crash and the recession that followed in 2008-2009, as part of a book called 'Playing Footsie with the FTSE?, published by Abramis.
Journalism.co.uk published an extract in which Brummer analysed the way the media reported on Northern Rock and the financial landscape at the time more generally, discussing whether the coverage was responsible or sensationalist, and whether financial journalists are up to the task of understanding the nuances of finance and then explaining it for a general audience.
"If there is a problem it could be the mismatch of the bullying financial public relations industry - with its various tools and the support of a legal system behind it - against a single journalist pursuing a legitimate inquiry.
"The amount of dissembling which has gone on through the crisis would have to be seen to be believed.
"But in almost every case the press has been right to be highly sceptical," he said.
See you next week for more Throwback Thursday! Do you remember any predictions that never came to pass, or any quotes that were spot on from 'back in the day'? Tweet us at @journalismnews.
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