'Content and engagement first' say global editors

Updated: May 10, 2020

The row over what journalism is and how it should be conducted in modern times has led to a split in the World Editors Forum, with a number of board members breaking away to form the Global Editors Network. While this may all sound a bit Life of Brian, the new group’s manifesto makes refreshing reading, saying: “We are members of the same community, all driven by a journalistic imperative and a common goal: Content and Engagement First!” The full manifesto is linked below, but I’ve quoted some key points here too.

You can see the full Global Editor’s Network manifesto if you click the link, but I thought it was worth reproducing this section, which says the network aims to

  1. break the barriers between editors of old and new media, print and digital, general interest and specialized publications, free and paid business models, profit and non-profit organisations, international and local media outlets;

  2. understand the new news ecosystem based on immediacy, information overloadand disintermediation: media are no longer middlemen and users blur the lines between production and consumption in a new world of prosumption;

  3. define a vision for the future of journalism, cross-media strategies, attention and audience analysis, newsroom management, dynamics of the news business and ethical values. Lack of vision is the worst that can happen to our community;

  4. welcome new players within the newsroom’s collective intelligence: engineers, developers, visual designers, app-makers, community managers, curators, aggregators, researchers and other practitioners of the link economy who enrich our vision;

  5. enhance the quality of journalism in its different dimensions: newsgathering, news curation, storytelling, fact and data checking, designing, moderating and sharing, regardless of the platform, browser or application used;

  6. continue experimentation and innovation. We consider that mobility, users’ engagement, personalisation, location-based news, data-driven journalism and rich media are key to the future of journalism;

  7. encourage mutualisation and co-operation between media. Among us, we are not competitors, but… potential partners. Resulting in the emergence of a new culture among senior news executives and new cross-offerings for consumers;

  8. convince media owners that slashes in editorial expenses are no longer a good answer for media outlets because – even for digital natives – content and engagement will make the difference, not only the technology;

  9. stop acting like victims of disruptive technologies or lack of citizenship. We are optimistic about the new digital tools and the new channels of distribution offered to us as news producers;

  10. reinforce the pillars of credibility of our profession based on context, accuracy, relevance, reliability, loyalty to the audience, effectiveness and connectedness, as citizens’ distrust is the main threat for our civil societies.

Plenty of food for thought there, and once I’ve thunk it – probably after my lecture to University of East London cultural studies students tomorrow – I’ll share.

#convergence #Journalism #Media #Technology

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