The reality for journalists to face, squarely, now

Found via Delicious — David Schlesinger, editor in chief for Reuters News, said this in a speech to the International Olympics Committee Press Commission on June 23, 2009:

We in the traditional media … must concentrate our efforts on defining and developing that which really adds value.

That means understanding what really can be exclusive and what really is insightful. It means truly exploiting real expertise.

It means, to my earlier point, using all the multimedia tools available and all the smart multimedia journalists to provide a package so much stronger than any one individual strand.

It means working with the mobile phone and digital camera and social media-enabled public and not against them.

Working against them would be crazy.

The genie is out of the bottle, and there’s no putting him back inside. You can wring your hands and weep, or you can stand up and walk forward. What Schlesinger said to the IOC group applies across the board to journalism everywhere — it puts a new twist on Gil Scott-Heron’s famous poem-song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (1970). There’s no point arguing now about whether this is good or bad.

The things to focus on — now and in the future — are value, exclusivity, insight, expertise (with accuracy and truthfulness).

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