Monday, July 21, 2008

Are journalism students being equipped with the wrong skills?

A really interesting question from Paul Bradshaw, who teaches a journalism degree at Birmingham City University. Watch the video below.
Paul has asked me to join his 'expert panel' to (attempt to) answer it... which I will do in due course...
In the meantime; consider the question for yourself (by playing the video below) - and please add your responses as comments - which I'll be happy to feedback to Paul.

A few initial thoughts: The price of content (read information/news) was sustained by scarcity. Now information is abundant.
We can of course still make money in this networked world. We can make money because of content rather than with it.

The traditional training of journalists has been about gathering, editing, filtering and broadcasting. Perhaps it's time to shift a little more towards the value creating skills of the networked world - the creation of useful services people will want to share?

In the context of information that takes us to ideas like apple's itunes - where I believe you are paying for a useful service rather than the content itself. Google does a rather good job of making money because of content rather than with it, too.

It also places a value on synthesis (and therefore reasoned opinion) rather than 'reporting the facts'.

And crucially places value on collaboration rather than working to the exclusion of others.

Services, synthesis and collaboration - skills for a world in which media doesn't get to control who makes content, who distributes it, or even the user journey.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?