Getting things into the open

David Wilcox has taken the bull by the horns and created an open thread on the OpenRSA blog calling for a more collaborative approach to the discussion on jounalism being carried out on the RSA networks platform. This debate is one which takes into account trust in news media, and could also pull in issues around the role of the BBC in civic life.

I’m personally most interested in breaking out of the old media professional boundaries because I think greatest innovation – and citizen empowerment – is likely to take place as old cultures are challenged, openly. It’s time the newspeople stopped seeing those that they write for as “news users”, now we are producing a lot of our own content online.

The issue at the RSA is not one of platform – the Drupal based system used by the Networks is superb – but of worldview. David and I were the most consistent contributors to the discussion, but I felt my time there was up when a message was posted by a project leader confirming that the desire was to keep the debate ‘on topic’ and ‘informed’. As neither a journalist nor a fellow of the RSA, I guess this counted me, and anything I had to add, out.

I’ll be following the debate through the comments to David’s post, and anything else tagged with civicjournalismuk. I have my platform here, which I am happy to use to contribute with – or when the time is right for a dedicated platform to be created, I can use that – as long as it is open!

2 thoughts on “Getting things into the open”

  1. Thanks Dave – really grateful for the support! I’m starting to explore civic and networked journalism over at a new blog socialreporter.com. On the general issue of organisations grappling with the open challenges of social media, I do think RSA should be congratulated on publishing openly the evaluation of the first phases of the RSA Networks project http://snurl.com/231xx
    This throws into sharp relief some of the internal issues of departmental resistance, staff confidence and so on. It is a real struggle to move from worldview 1 to 2.

  2. No problems! Have already subscribed to Social Reporter.

    There are three issues at stake here, really, and I think they all need considering together:

    1) trust in news organisations
    2) the opportunities presented by citizen journalism
    3) the role of the BBC in civil society

    To take any of these issues in isolation risks wasting a lot of time. I think a Membership Project style external collaborative site might actually be required – bringing together existing stuff on the various blogs as well as a space for people to submit their own ideas.

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