It’s time for mainstream media to trade in their gatekeeper role for a reader-empowered brand of Interactive Journalism
This in-depth look at online journalism appeared as the cover story of the November 1996 issue of The American Journalism Review. It was considered groundbreaking for its day.
Agreat many of the Internet’s 20-million-plus users consider Old Media’s practice of top-down, father-knows-best journalism to be clunky, obsolete and irrelevant to their lives. And, in an age when anyone with a computer and modem can be a virtual reporter, they’re right.
So does this mean that professional journalists — the middlemen in the news equation — are expendable in a wired world? Hardly. Many Net users want reporters, editors and news directors to bring their fact-checking skills and other timeless journalistic values — trustworthiness, accountability, balance, fairness — to this bright new medium.
But they also want Old Media to jettison the tired, stale baggage of traditional news culture. They want fewer, better filters and less spin on the news. They want journalism professionals to grasp what’s essential to their lives — something that seems to be missing from their daily newspapers and on the TV news.