“The business of television news is changing in the age of Twitter and Facebook,” remarked Simon Spanswick, Founder-Director, Association of International Broadcasting (AIB), while noting that that these are very different times for broadcasters and all media houses. He further said, “Neither in the East nor the West does the established media monopolise news production anymore. And going forth, it may not dominate the means of production and distribution of news for long.”
Spanswick emphasised on the advent of digital technologies and the manner in which it has empowered every individual. He noted, “Anyone with a story or a point of view and a social media account can effectively be called a force. News is a business of stories, but despite these internet-savvy times, not everyone is a storyteller, and that is where journalism comes in. There are more ways available today to tell a story than before, and digital formats are challenging competitors relying on familiar tools for disseminating information.”
He further said that in a professional set-up, the way news is reported is also changing. With the help of various apps, the engagement of users can be measured easily, and in an era when technology is reshaping journalism, the big question remained: Will professional journalists continue to have the same impact in the coming times too?
“If we as media professionals are clever, if we are innovative and if we are trustworthy, we can have the same influence,” he said. Spanswick called for a greater need for original reporting and insightful analysis in an age where rules of user engagement are changing frequently.
“The internet has made everyone realise that we live an age defined by real-time news. But let’s declare that while social media can turn anyone into a journalist, citizen journalism cannot take the role of professional journalism. When there are so many voices out there, then there is something priceless about one voice that you can trust,” he concluded.
Simon Spanswick was sharing his views during his valedictory address at News Next 2014, organised by exchange4media in Delhi on January 18. NewsX was the presenting sponsor of the event.