Citizen journalism 2.0

Citizen journalism 2.0



oh yeah thank you I said again had this festival Shin that we're about to have would have been very different but the news coverage around the bombings at the Boston Marathon have once again highlighted the complexity of making sense of a rapidly moving landscape where facts rumors conversations on the police scanner and sometimes contradictory eyewitness accounts all compete for our attention some news organizations covering the Boston bombings try to be as fast as Twitter and by doing so they ended up with egg on their faces the sheer tidal wave of information that now accompanies any news story means that Twitter's greatest strength its speed and the direct access it gives us as journalists to a vast number of new sources can also be its biggest weakness so over the next 85 minutes or so I want to examine with our panel what lessons we can learn from the coverage of the Boston bombings and then move on to ask what are our responsibilities towards the eyewitnesses who increasingly are becoming our reporters I'm going to talk with the panel for about 45 minutes and then open up to questions on the floor just to briefly introduce our panel sorry Monty founder and former CEO of domotics mark littell found with the social media agency Storyful antony DeRosa social media editor at Reuters and in Baker founder of blotter and Eric carving social media editor at The Associated Press Eric I want to start with you if I may with a question that was put by or a statement that was put by ap's executive editor Kathleen Carroll and she sent out an email after the Boston coverage and said we're going to make mistakes our everlasting job is to make sure we make fewer of them and we don't keep making the same ones over and over again and when something is wrong we're clear about saying so which is something we didn't do well last week so what lessons do you think ap has learned from the coverage of the Boston bombing well I think I think that was a specific situation where we did sweet we had a we had a little bit of a misstep that I don't think it's something that we do all of the time we weren't as clear as we could have been in correcting something and and we needed to make sure and and I think maybe that has I don't know if that has something to do with the pressure of the stories important as it was and it's fast moving as it was but I mean the fact is it was it was a specific thing that what happened in the middle of a big story that I think we handle pretty well for the most part including you know on the accuracy front there were you know there were some there were some things that ended up being wrong that we got from sources that we thought we could rely upon which unfortunately is something that happens in a major stroke news story from time to time and there may have been some little micro lessons learned on the on the local kind of in the field level from that but i think we handle things pretty well for the most part I don't think I mean you know transparency is key here obviously whenever you make mistakes and this is something that frankly i think is nothing new about this isn't really part of the digital world or the social world is you know acknowledging your mistakes and coming up front and being upfront with them I think honestly there's in some way more of an imperative to do it well and to do it more loudly than in the past I think you know newspapers used to have very small print Corrections and they still do frankly that would that would make come out three or four days after a story ran and they might not be seen by a lot of people now that everything is happening digitally you need to be really upfront with it you need to be public about it and sort of say what we got wrong and how we got it wrong and then just simply be prepared to move on to the next thing and internally learn from learn from the mistakes you know I I think that I think that there were I think that we still did for the most part we wear our reporting worked our reporting mechanisms worked well and we had very experienced journalists involved with the story including on the digital front and I think we managed to avoid certain slip-ups and we were pretty circumspect about what we were going to what we were going to put out in the first place and to the point that we might have been a little slower on some points them some others but we were perfectly satisfied with that because of the results I will come back to that question of speed and whether it is a case where being slower is better because I think that's a very important issue but turn to your opposite number at Reuters Anthony apart from a very public spat with a now former Reuters colleague over the Boston bombings what do you think Reuters learned from from the Boston bombings coverage well I didn't just learn this through Boston but I feel like I've learned this over the last couple of years that I've moved shifted from being a technologist to someone who works in editorial is that speed is not the most important thing at least in what I believe that I'm doing its accuracy and slowing down and making sure that your double and triple checking what you're seeing and I think Jeff Jarvis did an excellent job at distilling what we should be doing more of is telling people what we don't know right now if you look up Jeff's blog you'll find this post ed wrote called here's what we don't know and I think we need to do more of that I think we need to be more transparent put out more about the reports that are already out there and giving more clarification to them whether you're reporting them or someone else is reporting them explaining a bit more about where that information is coming from and what its rooted in and I I think you're you need to absorb more information than you're putting back out and there's tons and tons of streams coming from citizen journalists coming from other news outlets and I think what we need to do is continue to absorb that information take it in listen to it read it but then go off and do our own double-checking verification and then when we disseminate that ourselves put in a lot more information I don't think we can do this over Twitter unfortunately I feel like I'm doing less reporting via Twitter and sending people to a place where I have a little bit more room to put more context and put more information about what I'm seeing so I actually feel like I'm going to be doing less reporting via Twitter but i'm going to use Twitter as a signal or as a entry point to pull you to somewhere else where i can give you more information to explain things to you better mom I want to ask you to answer the question you you raised on a blog that you published on Sunday which had the title when everyone is an eyewitness what is a journalist so I think what Boston proved to me was you know and we've been saying it for a couple years and we're at a revolutionary moment in journalists no question no in the same way when the telephone and tech television came along you know technology's changed the way we behave and when I put that question about Boston what I was trying to do was also draw attention to a clash of cultures that were also is hampering our ability to integrate this technology and that's between an old model of breaking news in which we own stories we break stories there was no better thing for a journalist than to own a story we always said it about each other you can't own story and when you have the most authentic account of that story is is without you know you doesn't pass through you anymore in the old days we own the transmitters with the printing presses as journalists we owned everything about the news business and you the audience were passive you consumed it's all changed so what is a journalist a journalist now is a manager of an overabundance of information you have 72 hours of video uploaded on YouTube every single minute now in that there is a tiny tiny proportion of video that is game-changing so for example last week in Boston we had a woman approaching the finish line of the Boston Marathon with a GoPro camera on her head and she captured the moment the bomb exploded now as a journalist who's covered war and discovered conflict I've never seen a more authentic vision of stories emerging than this one two weeks before in Syria we got a video of a journalist embedded with the Syrian army he had a GoPro camera on a tank he recorded the moment the tank beside and was blown up we then got video from the Syrian rebels who fired the missile that blew up that tank we could see that more from two sides in real time so what is a journalist a journalist is someone who takes this content these individual data points and turns them into stories and context the word that Anthony used is is where the value is in journalism these days not in speed certainly not in any competitive battled with your other news agency or your newspaper because we're all now in a battle with the authenticity of the internet and we're there to give the context that makes this useful to the world that's what it journalist is I'm glad you mentioned that issue of authenticity because it's one that's that Adam is very clear to what blotter does are reading from your mission statement you say we believe the best news stories come from people at the scene able to capture it and report on stories as they unfold but are there cases in in in which the people on the scene aren't the best place to report on what's happening because they only have a partial picture from their own viewpoint no I don't think so i think they've got they've got a view and we you know they're there they're witnessing it I I firmly believe that people at the scene of an event a best place to report with a witness it's up to us what we do with that content and I think you're what's great about citizen journalism or whatever it where he wants to be however II want to phrase it is that you you do get not only an unbiased report of what's going on but you can get it from all angles so you'll you'll get news and you'll get footage and coverage from lots of different people at the scene of the same event and over the full cycle of the offense so you know we we see footage emerged over the over an hour or two of an event that actually builds the picture for us when we initially get an image or a video through we actually with sometimes we're not sure what's going on here and it's only over the love it's all about 10 or 15-minute period we get more footage from it that we can start to build that picture but I think that it's up to us since up the journalists to decide what they do with that footage I think citizen journalism technologies game changed the ability to to break news and enter cover stories and I think it really helps sureness I think you know that there was a lot of a lot of talk about how citizen journalists could put journalists out of work and and how it's disruptive to traditional journalism and I absolutely disagree with that I think it's powerful and I think it complements traditional journalism perfectly well sorry some people wanted to blame Twitter for some of the mistakes the Boston coverage which seems a ridiculous thing to do Twitter's article just a platform it's it's it's what you do with it that matters were some of the mistakes that were made over the coverage of Boston not Twitter's problem but the fact that people using Twitter didn't use it very well there's been no I think it's been a real shift in the way that people understand Twitter so if you mean and there's a history to its to its use for journalism if you remember in june 2009 when iran's otherwise very healthy relationship with democracy suffered a little blip and the elections were stolen by Ahmadinejad the world exploded on twitter there were billion tweets in a matter of a couple of weeks I think which back in the day was an enormous amount coming from I think naught point naught naught naught two percent of the population who had a Twitter account and so that we told the story wrong on the back of that we were absolutely did what we basically witnessing was and the you know spontaneous uprising and protest outrage against what had happened but from a very particular segment of Iranian Society which we misrepresented two years later and Tahrir Square suddenly about twenty percent of the Egyptian population of under a certain age who are engaged in this kind of space are on Twitter the picture that you end up building as Adam says the picture you end up building is more nuanced because there's far more voices on it it's still not good enough turns out that most of us were able to listen to the english-speaking voices on in Egypt not the Arab speaking voices and they were telling a different story themselves also the people who ended up winning the revolution in Egypt if you can call it that was the Muslim Brotherhood who predominantly were not involved in social media in that space so we couldn't hear that either as Twitter and I've my fundamental tool for news now as ideas for a lot of people I think a Twitter grows and grows up and moves out of its child and adolescent phase in this space and you get bigger demographics working with it across not just language not just class but also entire countries it becomes a much more useful and much more useful tool and it has grown up is that something you're aware order the story tell us that you work with on blotter from a certain demographic is that demographic shifting mmm those not the majority of people that contribute to us are caught up in conflict and so they just wit that they're sending reporting on what they witness we've actually shifted our focus from away from being a destination site and trying to trying to package up the footage we receive it into some kind of journalistic long-form piece in to actually provide meat to news organizations and letting them package it up and we find now that you know our main focus is making sure we can verify the source and and normally that source is caught up in conflict or is circumstantially at the scene of an event let's talk about verification very briefly maybe marker you want to pick up on that verification that Adam just mentioned absolutely key to what storyfull does and what we do is Jonas what we've always done is jitters yeah this is very important to say right now that we're not talking about some new form of journalism I mean this is the older turn values of journalism just apply to a new platform in new technology but i do think what's happened for us and i think for everybody who's verifying now because i think there's no secret sauce here you know you don't do it by technology it's a human activity we can scale it so when you look at the whole open source tools out there that we can use from you know wolfram alpha or from google maps google earth there's a stunning array of tools out there which i'd love to see the news business think about pulling together so we can actually scale verification and that's the problem right now I mean you can employ a lot of people spend a lot of money to do this kind of thing you know that video I mentioned earlier on of the GoPro at Boston bombing I mean that took four hours to first of all go find out that this was actually a runner and what was her name and was she on the list of runners and where would she have been at that point in time and what's her name is she on facebook and there's her mother and we've got our mother we've talked to the motor will talk to her and she talks to us and study now we've got the whole picture I took three hours now that's not cheap so I think what we should be doing is putting a lot more effort in collectively collaboratively between us news organizations existing ones new organizations like bladder like storyfull and coming up in a way that we can actually collaborate in real time in a way the benefits the public because as I say if it's not going to be about competing for speed well let's collaborate for accuracy and I think that's what I would be putting out today is my big message on the accuracy issue I I was personally quite shocked by a question that was raised in the Washington Post the fact that it even had to be raised at all so I mean literally certain to whoever wants to answer the mistake there was a quoting The Washington Post in an article said mistakes happen often in reporting be complicated fast-moving stories like the one in Boston the question is how much does a roni erroneous reporting matter these days there is a well-known phrase in British newsrooms never wrong for long is that good enough well I I don't think it's good enough at all I i think that one unfortunate side effect of the sort of social news world is that there has been in some circles a little bit more of a tolerance for in accuracy for a period of time and that there are some people who feel like well you know doing something quickly and then correcting it quickly you end up in the right place in the end that's what matters it's all real time but I still find that troubling I mean our i think the american version of that is get at first but first get it right something you hear around 8p a lot and to me this is a this is a big part of the role of the professional journalist in in a world of citizen journalism and this is why we don't think we are going away because we have this you know in theory at least we have a level of experience of verifying information that has nothing to do with where it might have come from it's just what we do is journalist and my view of it is and I think that another issue that comes up is I think that people treat different platforms differently when it comes to accuracy there are some who feel more comfortable more comfortable purchase putting something at on Twitter that they or possibly in a blog that they might not feel comfortable putting out in a traditional story that would go up to the cost of their customers in a more traditional way we treat all of our platforms the same way and we don't do that where we are but so that means sacrificing speed in some cases which is fine and but that also means as we were saying before so of accepting when we are wrong a one important point related accuracy so we we've talked about this a few people have referenced this notion of so when you get information from citizen journalists there's a sense of it being an unfiltered direct from where news is happening you can rely on it being uh that you may be relies too strong a word but it comes across as being unbiased it's simply you're seeing the video you're watching seeing the photos but the fact is it's it's not really unbiased very often it's not reliable a lot of the time we do need professionals first of all very often very often user-generated content is distributed and described as something that it's not the example that I like to give is there was a piece of video we were looking at from Syria from the early days of the of the conflict there that appeared to be a in fact was a gun battle in the streets of Dhara and it was really vivid stuff really good video and ended up being used in various various platforms by other news organizations and it said that it was just said it was describing the current days fighting in indore and we ran it past our our people in the field who looked at at one of ours are one of her correspondence in Beirut which is where our Syria coverage was faced because we couldn't physically be in Syria at the time and he said oh well this is there's nothing inaccurate about this but it's two weeks old at least he said well how do you know that he said well there's a statue of Assad in the background that was knocked down and nobody ever put it back up so this is the bottom line to me and an important important role of the professional journalist in this process is that when it comes to verification and accuracy yes we're looking for more tools and there hopefully will be ways that those can help us with that process but we need to pick up the phone sometimes you know put on your shoes and go outside and be a reporter in order to see the stuff is actually right another example of that was from the US elections when there's a video floating around floating around on YouTube early on I'm sure a lot of people in this room may have seen that showed an electronic voting machine where somebody was pressing Obama but Romney's name kept lighting up and I saw that and my initial instinct was well there's no way that this is real somebody made this off as a joke or to make a point of some kind Georgia actually was but the way that we very confirm that is by talking to election officials in Pennsylvania who said they had a malfunctioning machine and it was our sources there that allow it allowed us to figure that out so good sourcing and the ability to have just sort of strong old-fashioned journalistic instincts are what turn citizen journalism into journalism and so that I think it's very important thing to keep in mind never run for long good enough anybody else when I pick up I agree with Eric I think there needs to be more collaboration between people who are digital natives with people who are old-school journalists because everything we do in this social news reporting world has to be rooted in all the things that we've learned from journalism from hundreds of years ago everything that we know about going out and verifying things talking to people who are in the field like Eric mentioned I mean that's where you're going to find the truth through all the noise that we're seeing through through social reports things that are coming in through citizen journalists and marks agency does a great job of this because they've they've over time they've accumulated sources they know the citizen journalists that are often producing a lot of this information they know the ones they can trust they know the ones that they need to be a little bit wary of and if newsrooms become better integrated and collaborate more with the people who are looking at all this content the social content that is now becoming the stuff that goes on the nightly news that goes on the front page of all the newspapers if if if they continue to not pay attention to all all these things that are popping up on social two things are happening hey they're not reporting accurately and and properly all the things that are going on in the world because it's it's it's being transmitted through social before it is anywhere else and two we're missing a huge opportunity to do a better job at informing everyone by taking all that although all the other things that we've learned for so many years about how to properly vet and verify information and and I fortunately I feel like this is very much a generational issue that the folks who have worked in newsrooms for 30-plus years are still somewhat not ready to accept what's going on in the social world and the people in the social world have the same problem because they look at people who worked in the news rooms for 30-plus years and they basically look at them as yall guard and they don't want to work together with them but that really has to change both generations have to really start to work together more and collaborate and learn from each other not very much goes to the heart walk mark you said in your blog post that people who call themselves in inverted commas true journalists haven't yet come up with a coherent response to the changing use environment they find themselves yeah and I think part of the reason for that is that the moment there's kind of no financial incentive none its consents range a very high-minded panel to talk about business models what we need to be doing is saying there's enough value and more value actually i'm calling on a story as there is in trying to report something quick and in the old days with breaking news the the failed model of breaking news you have 24-hour coverage to sustain one of the biggest problems but being a journalist in the field particular war zone was you were locked to an earpiece and a camera because you're needed 24 hours a day you didn't get to do original reporting so i think now it's a really important that we create financial incentives for news organizations but also for citizens to actually be calling to be pointing out when things are wrong and to that end I just would make a point where you know I don't know if anyone else in the room feels this way but I think citizen journalist was a horrible phrase I think completely out misplaced in many ways because citizen journalism is actually two different things the one hand that what i call the pronouns are the motivated activists the people who just love local politics and will sit a council meeting report via twitter have the people that might be freelance journalists will be laid off by news organizations who want to come and work with bladder or domotics or whoever and then there's the group of accidental witnesses the people who you know commit random acts of journalism just because they happen to be somewhere at the right time and may only once in their life be a citizen journalist those people and I think Stuart you made a very important point your introduction saying we have a responsibility to people such as about what they can do for us we have to provide ways that they can see value whether that's money or credit goes back to them and that we protect them and that's story feels big sort of mission this year is verification clearly is what we do but this year is to create an ethical business model for user content and I think that is going to be an absolute priority because that's the only way this is ever going to change as if people are making some money out of it somewhere and I would think that's the point i would make and we will come back to that in a second part of the discussion sri you wanted it to pick up yeah i just want to reinforce something but Antony and Mark just just I think that the argument as to where the citizen general is going to replace professional journalism or or citizen journalism of the things its own it's done we know the way this is going to work and it's going to work like this forever you have professional journalists Privett creating professional news and they have an army of and the word that you keep on using but we haven't flagged is sources and what this whole new world of content that is being shipped out there is simply sources so Eric when you're 16 that stuff coming in you're treating it as a source you have to verify it it's it's complicated and it was conceptually difficult for people to deal with because it was also a piece of documentary evidence so it's also it's also dishabille it's also about public or publicly in many cases your sources are very public things and that's something that makes some journalists a little uncomfortable any other come up with new ways to approach that so I think that let's let's squash this conversation we know that the model is collaborative it's extremely good it's done amazing things for journalism is only going to get better the key thing I think is what Marx just flagged which is responsibility towards those people now engage in this news cycle and there there are the witnesses that the very occasional committees of random acts of journalism nice phrasing there are freelancers in their various guises where I think and as we all know freelance freelance reporters and Isis where I would really like to drive this conversation from my perspective with you guys is freelancers are ever more present in the in the news ecology we saw it across the Arab so-called spring they continued to go into places where star journalists who've had seen a numbers come back can't get to and we have a massive as media organizations whether we are people like domotics or blotter who are financially an item me I Maxima culpa here we financially incentivize people to get put themselves in the way of all sorts of things to report on the news do we have a sensible protection mechanism for them when everything goes wrong now big news organizations also BBC ap Reuters use freelancers and they also subsequently use unknown commissioned citizen journalists or freelancers work again do we have the right support structures in place I think it's just categorically not so one how do we deal with these new contributors and this growing army of contributors into new cycle and way which is ethical and to how can we also and as a separate question remind ourselves that what you see isn't always the only truth and I'm concerned when I worked at a photojournalism organization for the last five years that actually the news that I see the demise of end of investigative journalism the demise of long-form maybe in a way culturally linked to this growing sense that if you were used to seeing things to be able to validate them ourselves perhaps when we don't see them when it's long form when it's complicated when it's deep reporting maybe we trust it less I wonder whether there's a conversation to be had about the culture of news story telling do you want to pick up Adam on on on what to is just say what duty of care do you have a blotter for the people who are providing your content sure um so the answer that is you know we would never ask somebody to go out and find content for us we wouldn't assign anything to something anyone around network and say look we know we're aware there's something going on in you know in Damascus and we really want footage from this we wouldn't do that because at that point you know there is a potential that we're putting people at risk and so what we do is we rely on people sending us content in and so the news agenda is very for us or what we what we actually footage we get is very much relying on what our network is able to uncover I think that's ducking the issue unfortunately I think that by creating a financial incentive for people to ship news stories through your platform you are actually asking them to do it or you're in a sense contributing it's an interesting one to do because up we saw we trialed last year of 18 months ago now we trialed paying people right because we actually thought that we would get more content and better content and more exclusive content and and not many people took it up because we found that in art we have a network now around 300,000 people around the world that we know and we trust and have posted for us before and we've been able to verify and we tried to find a way of making it sustainable for them and hardly any I mean likely literally it was like three percent of our of our network at the time which was around about 130,000 took us up on the offer because most people that in our network we're doing so because they wanted to expose the the news or the kind of the conflict they were called up there weren't people to know what was going on in the world it was self gratification they wanted to be credited for it and almost always anonymously so they would have some kind of pseudo name but they didn't actually want paying for it now what we're doing and to be fair at the time we actually weren't getting paid for our journalism where we were making our money on adverts and we weren't making very much of that um we've now changed our strategy where we aren't really interested at all in broadcast and that news ourselves we work with news organizations now to provide them with all the content and the verification processes that we have to enable their newsrooms to produce better journalism and they pay us so we are now kicking that back on so every time what a piece of our video or an image is used we pay the contributor whether they like it or not we pay that we find a way of paying them if they don't give us any bank details all or a paypal account which is typically how we we play people and then we can but typically we won't he made in terms of cash I actually mean in terms of support so we had a case an absolute terrible case about three months ago one of our reporters on domotics was killed in Syria um he reported her hid his lot of his work through demotic see also shipped into the AFP I called up the AFP i'm naming them here i called up the FB and said we're going to try and find cash to give so that we can help bring his natural birth mother over from from the u.s. to his funeral in france and we did we have a relationship with a freelance organization called aurori pack trust which is a totally it's this is inefficient this is not scalable this is all sorts of things which are wrong with it but we never let you have that relationship I called off the FB and said are you guys going to do anything and the question I was well maybe we'll try and do a little collection around the office that's not the correct response repertory it's very difficult though I mean you're a lot of many varied say it is very difficult what I think we should be trying to talk about is how we can actually build something absolutely no support but I think it's a very difficult path because you know a lot of our are a lot of our sources whilst we trust them because we know who they are we actually don't know who they are if that makes sense what they're anonymous to us so how do you help these guys so the way that we help them or we try to kind of not put them if we don't put them into any danger if we can help it there at just at the scene either marks absolutely right there they are activists or there they've got they've got a an agenda this is what they want to report news for a certain reason or they're just circumstantially at the event um the best one in the world for us is that you know we don't ask people to do any more than there already offering us but we'd love to find a way of supporting if we could well let's bring in the two guys from the big boys AP and Reuters I was interested one of the things i noticed when i get my daily advisory in my inbox from reuters about the stories that coming up tomorrow is Reuters Syria social media cover you mentioned that your Syria coverage is coming out of beirut's because you can't get in there so how do we how do we help the people who are helping us although a few things well first of all well first of all we do have people in Syria sometimes now this was I was talking more about last year but well there are a few different issues here I want to focus on probably safety probably and primarily since that's what the biggest concern is so we actually have a set of guidelines that we have that we've distributed internally about and I'm talking primarily about amateur producers of content not as much sort of regular freelancers about how we interact with them surrounding dangerous or sensitive situations and that includes just as Adam was talking about we never asked them to specifically to gather something that will put them in danger and on and going a step further than that we specifically tell them you know we are urged them to stay safe and say do not put yourself in danger for this do not do that for us and then be beyond that and this actually comes back to the issue of of speed and and how it balances against other factors well make some very careful decisions when somebody's gathering this kind of content you know on their own in a dangerous situation where we may wait until the acute danger is past before we reach out and before we start that process even though it may in some cases put us at a little bit of a competitive disadvantage it's the safe thing to do in the ethical thing to do for them and frankly they're probably more likely to interact with us in that scenario anyway I think we're going to be more successful and then we go beyond that to beyond dangerous situation and this isn't always just war zones it often is but it also is also um we get a lot of a mature content related than natural disasters and there are people who are in the middle of a hurricane who you know might be thinking about going outside to take some pictures and say you know we'll tell them don't do that please don't do that for us or for yourself and we're mostly looking at this content that's already been produced and deciding whether there's a way we can get get rights to use that and this also applies to what we call sort of sensitive situations that aren't necessarily dangerous situations this has come up sometimes where there's somebody after some kind of attack no Boston would be a good example of this where there are people who have just lost a loved one and who everybody is trying to talk to them or to a member of the family to learn more about what happened to get a photo of the person a piece of video that might have been around before it's a very very delicate situation there have been a lot of missteps by a lot of members of the media in the past and so our so we have guidelines would sort of cover that as well and in some cases honestly the answer is you just don't bother them you just don't do it you wait until they decide that they're ready to come forward or you wait until they're there are at least indications of that that they are reaching out or you reach out in such a way that you it's sometimes just in how you word your requests and this is gets very subtle but instead of saying you know I'm sorry for your loss got any pictures of your kid it can be something more along the lines of if you if you are if you were if you want to tell this if you want to help us tell the story your child if you want to share this with us let us know you know you sort of put it out there and again it's not as aggressively competitive but it's more ethical and I think frankly it's going to be more successful most of the time so that I mean that's the sort of the kind of danger and safety issue of it but then I mean credit is crucial and this is something that again goes back before social networks even existed because we always thought about in terms of freelancers that that we always credit everybody who contributes any kind of content for us and it drive us crazy when others don't because it's it still is all too common and we credit them in the way that they are comfortable being credited you know as you were talking about Adam that they often want to be anonymous and and we want to be credited by a username as opposed to their actual name which is something we it's not it's something that we had to adjust to a little bit because it's not the way we were generally refer to somebody but we do so that's that's important as well and then payment is a little bit of a whole different issue because a lot of we have the same experience with a vast majority of people coming to us and pajama with a mature content it would even occur to them to want money I mean they are just begging for us to share their story with the world and Syria is a good example of that and other other conflict zones there are a lot of examples of that I mean frankly a lot of the people who are trying to get us to put this content out there sometimes activist groups and we have to work with them very very carefully and we have to put it another reason we have to put that all in context because they have a point of view and they're trying to make a point but the light but but money is the last thing on their mind somebody asks us for money then we you know then as far as we're concerned they become a freelancer and when we start that conversation I will come back and ask a final question about money before we go to questions but I just want mcd's pick up on ya the difference with my role is that you know reuters has two sides to their business they have the agency which sells news to our clients the Washington Post New York Times etc and then there's the consumer facing side of Reuters which is producing reuters com and almost as another client of Reuters taking some of the news from Reuters and then taking things from social media and other sources I work on that side I work on the side we're producing consumer-facing content so I'm not producing content for the wire I'm acting sort of as another group within Reuters and and what I'm doing is I'm looking at what Reuters is putting out there I'm looking at what people are reporting in social media taking some of that and then going back to our journalists and our people who work on the photo desk who work on the video desk the people who are seeing all sorts of videos coming from different places who are very close to the reports that are going on in Syria the things that are going on in Bahrain and they're working with their sources to verify the same way that Eric was talking about with the gunfight and Dara and they can look and make those decisions and say well that you know that that statute wasn't it wasn't there yesterday it was not found two weeks ago those people can help me verify it and bet the reports in terms of people that want to be paid or are people that are sending us content it's always a different situation just like eric said some people just want to get it out there they're not looking for any compensation that's a very easy way for us to get content out but again the most important thing is that we verify that the content that they're sending us is what it purports to be so the payment thing comes up every so often and then oftentimes those people will become regular contributors regular freelancers of ours and we start to build a relationship so that we have a constant flow of video of photos or reports from those freelancers that we really rely on people who are native to different regions around the world we have some people that we bring in from the US and then put them in different regions but for the most part Reuters really does rely on the people that live in these regions to do a majority of the reporting do and then I thought so and then the other aspect of this is it also working with with markets storyfull because sometimes we want a second set of eyes sometimes we want someone outside of our newsroom to give us what their take is on something and what they're seeing so oftentimes I'll reach out to mark and his team and I'll say hey we're seeing this video or we're seeing this photo what do you guys know about it do you have any additional information so we really try to collaborate outside of our newsroom and the fact that we are a separate part of Reuters that kind of lives off in its own little world we are able to be a little more collaborative and bringing different sources you know I'll even go out to the AP I'll see what the AP is reporting we pull in tweets from the AP sometimes sometimes the AP has something that rotors doesn't have we don't care we'll pull that report in and we want you know we want to be the beacon for all news we don't want to be just the beacon for Reuters news and as long as we can verify and make sure that it's correct we want to pull in all those different sources you've related to what you were saying about establishing kind of regular sources I think that's an important point that that applies to a mature content as well in a lot of cases and that's something that can be talked to speaking of time can be a real time-saver in some cases we have series a good example where there are some regular sources of content that we may get video from from time to time so what we do is we establish contact with them we figure we learn who they are to the best of our ability we at least feel feel like as a baseline of standards there we're always going to have to vamp to verify every single piece of content from them to make sure it actually is what it claims to be but at least we know at a decent starting point and importantly we also in most cases will get blanket permission to use any of their content without having to bother with that so we don't have to worry about the legal side of it because we've been given sort of permanent permission to use any content coming from that particular source think of this is the perugia manifesto right this is the day perhaps what we do right is we stop talking and we start thinking about action points that we can start with today and the first thing I would say and I don't to blow smoke up these gentlemen's behinds here but I've worked with algae on T for years I know Eric for years and these guys are the the gold standard right when it comes to verification contact credit all those things but a lot of people in the media business do a bloody awful job of crediting people who create journalism and I'm talking about that second category so have you ever seen and this is my first action point whenever you see a TV station TV brought broadcast the words credit youtube right which like credit telephone right internet you know where i turn off that television person on the phone purse on the phone right now if you see a newspaper saying credit twitter don't buy the newspaper right the second thing I would say is that we need to all so remember that there's a great joy and beauty in storytelling on in this area now so we have an example last week where we had a man who witnessed the West Texas explosion from his car we've made the explosion the terrible explosion we talked to him we managed his video because we've relation to YouTube who we managed videos we don't get money out of it what we do is we insist that man gets a credit we handle any press queries about the man we also in the end of the day found this incredible story behind this guy you know and his kids are in the car with him and so he goes on television talks about her and suddenly this piece of content becomes an incredible story and I just think that's what you know we talk a lot about sort of responsibilities and money but that's really in the end of the do where the value is is to be able to see citizen journalism is so multi-layered and rich and we are the people the storytellers professionally who take those people work with them and make them sing you know I mean make these things that was the first thing I was served my first front-page story when as a newspaper reporter was make it sing I just think right now if we do it right is it spicy comes down a very simple credit where it's due no it's more than that it's it's about actually practical things as well as I say so for example in youtube if you have a piece of video that's of a disaster you don't get advertising revenue out of that because youtube says disaster we're not gonna make money out of this but if someone Rob's that video puts it up at their own channel they get advertising right so we're working with you to to try and stop that to make sure that doesn't happen and so it's more than credit it's it's about saying what practical steps can we make to put that individual who got that sorry the source front and center and it's about a whole series of incentives financially to do a credit but it's it's much bigger simply than credit I think mark littles parousia declaration will be honest Oracle blog this evening I hope no it's 140 characters so like it has to be it's a good place to go for questions there so before we move on I wonder if there's going to be a change where we start to see freelancers and people who are the primary captures of this content to start to hold back some stuff because they want to be compensated they they realize that they're putting out a lot of this stuff out there for other people to take and maybe they get credit for they may be someone properly credits them but I think what as we're moving towards this age where it's almost all everything's digital everything's being done through social networks are they gonna start to pull back a little bit more well what I think see is that they do you know I think that some people should actually get money we're at the moment they just are happy for credit so we'd like to see for example in youtube we manage videos that you know get millions of views and we give money back to the uploader because of a system that YouTube have but let's say an action point what maybe let's say you know you guys we could sign up to the idea that will create a public service license right for certain really important content where let's list all the things we'd like to give to the uploader so definitely credit the ability to archive in the future so you know the first 72 hours when you get an iconic image or video you want it out there and we as journalists don't want to have restrictions on that but you know that's valuable content in a long term so should that person get the ability to make money in 72 hours things like this these are issues and I think this year if I get appealed to my colleagues here in to all you guys's let's work on the definition of that public service license it has to be more sophisticated than Creative Commons because there's a lot more issues involved in it but let's see if we can develop that and I mean we would sorry will be putting an idea out there and a few weeks time about this but I'd love if we could kind of crowd source to use a horrible phrase the elements of a contract between a citizen who witnesses something and all the organizations that will then use that video and I think if we could come out of 2013 with that that would be a major step forward a good action plan let's go to the flow of questions at the back thanks guys has been a great panel I had a question for you which is do you think there's a place for building tools so it seems to me we just produce the tool where the idea is to actually see software as the new hardware you know actually build an app that is not to control content and create your own social network but to actually curate the content the point of production make it easier to find look better you know is this something that you think agencies would be interested in building or are considering building already this is your question to craft skills improving craft skills for the people who are gathering it yeah and whether there's there's a place for creating sort of focusing more on on tools that will improve people's content rather than each person created me there's a platform for demonic so the platform for water storyful has you know all these things they're closed because it's competitive but that doesn't actually help the greater sort of I want to see something like that do well in the past I don't think it's been successful I think in examples I report with CNN which i think is a wonderful thing and I think it's presented really well but they don't see enough content being sent to something like that where it gets a massive scale and I'm not trying to blow smoke up your ass either but I think the idea of going out and finding the really great newsworthy content has been a better model to instead of waiting for people to bring things in to go out and find the things put it in a easier to navigate a set of channels has been the better model I would like to see the other other model become more successful hopefully you're you're able to be the first success story on that side of things but I think the thing that if you're able to accomplish that would be really important is what Mark is looking for is being able to integrate some sort of license into that into that software so it makes it easy to distribute that content and not lose the person's ability to monetize it if they want to it's a really important point that Anthony's made I think you make as well is that one of the great things about this conference is festival is that you get to meet people you think your competitors right your collaborators like which had lunch there with source fabric and liquid news at tune other great sort of non-starter to the wrong word in this ecosystem and we found out we were talking about this and the big thing we agreed on was that we shouldn't silo User Content so too many mistakes have been made by these User Content units within big organizations where they want to take it you know give it to me don't put it on YouTube give it to me in whatever organization it is rather than saying okay it exists on YouTube how do we then siphon that into our new systems through an open source tool I would love to see a kind of a standard CMS where you know every newsroom could essentially take the verification system or the citizen journalism CMS plug it into their own newsroom and we all work through the same standard so let's standardize the tools some of them will be paid for they have to be but there will have to also be you know public comments here as well and i would i'd love to chat to you about what you're doing because i think all of us who are creating this ecosystem who are not big news organizations have a responsibility to to share some of this innovation and then obviously take the stuff that's proprietary and make money out of it that's the way good systems develop i think to play devil's advocate is every danger that everybody's good news is going to look very similar if you take that model no no because I that's the key thing about value in this new ecosystem right is that every newspaper and every news agency and every TV station will be marked by the quality of the context they add so the source material may be the same so every newspaper covers essentially the same stories but they do it in a different way and that's I think what will happen is that we'll see use ugc or use a content the same sources will pop up but news organizations will make money and value out of treating them differently adding different context and I think that's where the value is in this new system and you were talking about Jeff Jarvis earlier but Jeff about five years ago made a point that everybody thought was entirely ridiculous which is you know we're all in a major news event all the news organizations gonna have to cover it they're all that although with was it cost a fortune of wasted energy and so Jeff's line was share it and go and cover the serious stuff yourselves differentiate elsewhere the fascinating thing now about my great love affair with twitter is that it's obviated that whole question it's already done right what's happened is the major news events are being covered by everybody else you absolutely rightly described value as being added by context what it does eventually in this pared-down news environment is it forces news organizations to think of the stuff they do really well which is potentially the long form it is the investigative is everything else so actually or they just shape it off the bottom line and get rid of the people who are doing that before yeah which would be a pity yeah but remember I mean one of the reasons I did what I'm doing now is I remember being in Afghanistan covering in Kandahar and I couldn't do that side the guest house I was in to talk to people and if I did get out there and I said disguise ourselves to get out we did it through a fixer who translated for us and I remember thinking at the time this is a real waste and I had to run back and I had 90 seconds to describe what I'd seen which was ridiculous as well and I thought to myself what if I didn't have to worry about getting to my satellite feed point what if I didn't have to worry about the breaking news aspect of my job what if I could just go out there for days and embed myself in that community I'm on my screen I could see all the chatter around and all the user content that was surrounding it and what I basically did what storyfull was I built what I would have liked as a foreign correspondent and the ability to take all the breaking news content and say someone else is taken care about someone else is monitoring the chatter I'm gonna do the long form I'm gonna do the in-depth and investigative stuff that I can't do because I'm locked on this bloody hotel roof feeding the same thing again and again and the dirty secret by the way is you're on the phone to your people back in my case Dublin saying what a Reuters an AP reporting about where I am and and I know that sounds ridiculous but that happens you know and then you certainly have someone jumping up putting on their bulletproof vest because they see an explosion happen behind do piece to camera it's so unnatural and inauthentic that sometimes when people talk about the old days it makes me want to vomit there's a lot of sorry but that's pretty and those of us who worked in foreign usual will know the most dreaded sentence in the English languages the way we see the story from London or the way we see the story in Dublin is this when you're in the field brian connolly is the person who asked that question small world news is his organization story maker is the platform and i'm sure he'd be happy to talk to you that takes some more questions no questions okay we'll go right down I'm sorry maybe you answer this question already in a way but when there's more and more fact checking to be made because there's more news coming in from citizens out there from social networks and stuff and less money because I mean at least in Italy journalism is financed the less and less and less so how do you put these two things together I mean in Italy even web magazines and newspapers have trouble finding advertising so I mean do you see a danger in this I mean journalists being encouraged by the fact that they're paid very little you know being encouraged to just take for granted news coming from citizen journalism or social we get rather than checking them I mean I just what I didn't mention it but that touches on a point that the Guardian some of the criticisms of the new Guardian witness website in the UK were made at the NUJ the National Union of Journalists in the UK said if you're providing core content to a newspaper the NUJ believes it should be paid for that is there a danger that news organizations strapped for cash see citizen journalism call it what you will social journalism as a chance to get something for nothing well 22 yeah witnesses in my son that's add that in the declaration yeah the declaration the declaration I think we should have we should have staff journalist let's cut the word professional out of this because the professionalism is a sliding scale of talent and dedication so staff journalists freelancers and witnesses and I think that my sense of a lot of the tools that Brian was talking about many of them the core contributors to Adams blotter your regular contributors out of Syria they they sit on this sliding scale they perhaps starters the witness and then move as they get as they improve they become they become freelancers in that in this gray space but there and then so any tools that you can use to improve them that they can learn to improve their work should be obviously obviously loaded I think also one point I would make this big help doing what we do is cheaper now than it ever has been so you know I remember going to iraq in 2003 we spent nine thousand euro in excess baggage just for equipment for a two-person team it wasn't just why they're doing it but it was it was basically you know we were actually paying a lot of money to transfer all this gear and now you know with a tablet and a couple of extra bits and pieces I could do the same job so there's a lot of money being saved in reporting the world these days I would say that that's not recognized one of the benefits of citizen journalism as we call it the second thing as well I would say is that there are ways of monetizing that are emerging that I think we should pay attention to I think watch what happens on YouTube but its advertising model it's gonna be very interesting at ways they raise advertising rates so that if you do a piece of video that gets 10,000 views you get more than 15 cent you know and I think there's going to be ways that'll happen I would like to see again I wish all my colleagues success in these platforms that reward people for doing good journalism and I think hyperlocal is going to be really interesting I would love to see networks of motivated activists covering city politics and finding ways to get money back in their hands as well so I think too much time and energies put into pointless debates about old versus new new media is media and we just got to work out the tools and the action points and the principles that I got on underpin the new business model so I share your fear but I would also say that's all together share determination to try and answer those questions because they are they're not rocket science how didn't you pick up on that yeah I'll answer your question little bit more directly if I can so I actually think that like us all journalists have to be smarter these days and what you've got with witness news or freelance news is you've got a bundle of content that you otherwise wouldn't have access to five or six years ago so as a journalist you're being asked to be first and be right you're asked to break the content and get footage that your competitors aren't getting you know you're there's lots of demands at the same time you are being told there isn't the resource and the money to throw at this as you work five or six years ago but what which Eyewitness News and freelancers are able to provide for you is an abundance of content that will help you break that news first and get it right or or cover sepa so in our instance we were we launched as a breaking news service and very quickly realize that you know there are other people that do that if you want breaking news you're probably going to go to sit well not sinning anymore but um you know you put you could have gone somewhere else Busey yeah well anyway um what we now focus on is is actually uncovering footage that you're not going to see anywhere else so while people are focusing on Damascus for example and we're going to uncover footage from Damascus that others aren't getting and that is a really nice complement to the newsroom and that's all I think that that's kind of waiting to focus I think that's exactly it i mean we need to think about these as complementary sources of information you know when we get the for the moment we're getting great amateur content that we end up distributing at AP it's you know it's not like we're saying like oh you know what they're gonna be people that with camera so let's not send someone you know it's not like we're making it's not like that's the thought process at all it's more that they are in the right place at the right time and no news organization no matter how large is always going to be the right place the right time in fact they're usually not and and you know we're still there to provide the context to provide the expertise to authenticate and this is really important I the verification piece of this is so crucial and in fact yes the best thing is to have a person on the ground witnessing something see if it and maybe it sounds like sacrilege to say it but somebody who is professional who can I'm not supposed to say professional journalist staff journalist somebody who is an experienced seasoned journalist let's say who happens to be there at the right time I'm sorry but they're going to do even better because this is what they do for a living and so there still is value in having that person there in fact we have some situations where we see a lot of a mature content from somewhere we're looking to use it in fact we often do but at the same time it may also help guide our reporting we may decide to send people there as a result or not send people there as a result because we realize okay we've got that piece covered and we can and we can expand from there it's an incredible tool but I don't think I don't think when I don't think one thing is replacing another yeah that the efficiency are recognized but not by enough organizations especially the big ones and that's why they're having so much trouble trying to compete and and and profit but with the other side of this that we're not acknowledging is that where's the business model and that's always been the huge elephant in the room that no one's really been able to figure out you know we may be able to get our costs down but now how do we generate revenue by producing journalism oh no what's going on so I think Anthony I think the ad model is broken I think we all recognize that so we need to figure out what's what what is the next thing how are we going to generate revenue through all this reporting that we're doing that's probably another panel and you took my business models that original question was about the cost of verifying right it was a very specific question if I understood you write about the cost of verification and I think also yep so Adam you got you just said I'm bowled over by the number three hundred thousand people who use do you reckon you kind of know right you guys are being shipped in an enormous amount of data you see I know it I don't know the BBC is in terms of picture desk but the Guardian is now twenty thousand images a day coming from all over the place and they're able to go through there are now the tools available to verify are getting better and better and better it's combination of human it's always the end call is a human call and domotics we had a network of editors it 24 7 365 looking every single piece of content than that came through but an enormous number of tools which helps us filter what the key things we needed to be looking at from a verification perspective were and that's what those funnels have got much much much more efficient and the cost now verification it's always ultimately human but actually from a financial perspective it's actually extremely low and it's dropping and I would make a comparison to the emergence of personal computers where you know to begin with you wouldn't think every person would build their own computer system right you know we all consume basically brands you know so what I would say to you is if we could have some way of having a lot of the verification techniques tools best practice essentially shared over all of these different organizations right on each one thinking they have to reinvent the wheel every time they approach this this problem I would be much better again my point about silos because of the old competitive demands of the old news business you know news organizations want their own systems and I think maybe if there was a standardization of verification techniques and technology supplied by an ecosystem of companies like you know the smaller companies here today that I think we'd make progress cheaper and faster that that's my advert for young startups in this area's gentleman ever the question if you do have a question to catch my eye otherwise we will just chatter until we run out of time okay hi I'm new support from Helsing is on a month in Helsinki Finland I was I just wanted to ask you sort of describe it ecosystem where you have like a lot of citizen sources and then like a professional layer of journalism they are verifying it I don't you think that sort of institutions or the government or companies actually have an interested with a verification or the annulment of the rumors themselves I sort of leave the journalists out feature it was thinking about the Boston thing where people actually were spreading very widely the bra and the name of someone who was falsely it claimed to be the suspect that would actually be probably land you in court in Finland and probably in America but live I was lost differ in different countries but but anyway don't choosing the police in this is chase and actually had the sort of it wasn't it would have been in their interest directly say that the information is false I could you extrapolate this to a lot of situations actually of similar nature or false informational information of any kind is spreading through the social life I think we're seeing more of that and Boston in particular you saw the Boston Police you saw the Boston FBI a lot of these official sources are doing their own social media and going direct sort of the commonly known term is the sources going direct now and I think in more events you're going to see exactly what happened with Boston they didn't jump on the name that was being floated out there and they may have done that for another reason they maybe they didn't want to have that name float out there even further by by even acknowledging that it was there and that's another thing that we have to recognize when do we jump in and recognize that there's a wrong piece of information not giving it more credit than it should but should is it already out there so far that we want to knock it down NBC wound up knocking that rumor down so they felt that it was propagated so far that someone had to step in and say this is not correct but going back to what you were saying I do think that we're going to see you know official sources doing a lot more direct reporting via social networks because that's where people are directing their attention more and more instead of going to traditional you sources do you sense that something that large institutions are very good at doing it or is that still in its infancy I think it depends on the institution where it's located you know how technologically savvy they are I think it's probably easier in large metropolitan areas where they're probably a little more digital savvy that may not always be the case sometimes our small towns that you know are very very digital savvy and I before I even go to look for sources non-traditional sources I'm trying not to use citizen journalists anymore instead of going to non-traditional sources I first look for the official sources that are putting out reports via social media and just picking up the phone is you know the best way to do it and if if they're not posting on Twitter on Facebook I'll also see if there's people in the news room who have people who are related to that story who are official sources it may not be someone at the Sheriff's Department it may be someone who is the press officer that I want to get the contact information for but i think i think the examples that are popping up during these big breaking events are making other metropolitan areas and different towns and cities decide that it become more useful for them to put their information out themselves rather than wait for the news organizations or for citizens to put that information out so I think there's I think there is certainly incentive for a lot of government institutions in particular to try to separate right from wrong the question is when do they want to disclose that information to the public and when do they want to keep it to themselves and that's another place where you know we professionals I'm not going to say professional journalists I'll just a professionals where we need to step in and be really aggressive and work with our sources to try to dig that up and you know because a lot of times they may you know they may knock down the incorrect information but they may have a lot of correct information that they may not necessarily be willing to share and we need to be a cress aggressive reporters just like we always have been hmm I only have had the question because of the echo in this part of the room but um one of the things we haven't touched on the last talk in this room is a fabulous talk about BuzzFeed which get something like we would we would 40 million uniques but we were showing one story which had had and seven point five percent uptick that's 7.5 times uptick through sharing so and what that points to is the fact that something we haven't spoken about which is the citizens though witnesses they're not just there for the sourcing a knotless they're shipping content in they now own your front page they're the ones pushing now they're that they're your splash and you can put a story on page you can as morally in as sensibly as you want put an important political story on page one or on your lead of your lead broadcast if the story about Lady Gaga is more attractive on page five that's your front page in terms of page views so that we've also lost control of distribution that's also been been being pushed out and that's a whole different ball game with enormous moral correlations and I think just back to the original question about how we cover government sources on social media I mean in many ways there's a real model here around the pool report so you know when i was i was working washington DC we were together we took pool reports because not every news organization could have an individual reporter following the president and i think that's a good example I think AP started because a collaboration of you know news organizations in New York didn't want to send to cover the spanish-american war right that's okay right so there's no let's just send one of us it is very simple notion at the time and you know we'll send it back by telegram a few days later we can so how about this ravenous to the declaration right can we have a chat room is there a way for example because you guys can't go out and say hey it's it's anthony or eric here this video's right or wrong or is this fact right around because you guys got a reputational damage immediately that happens but if you could step into a room together and say like when the account was hacked last week the AP account you know listen guys don't believe a word that's said from here on in with the account or you know if there could be a chat room or we could get together and assess things like the scanner information the only way to do that right now is to say it publicly on twitter but what if we had a sort of professional I don't want to call them now that we're the dispute every night we go back what if we could have a chat room like you know we use Yammer internally in our company which is a network that allows you to like almost the Facebook feed share information privately and I think that could be a big way of doing it that we have almost a pool system Erica Anthony if you told when to your bosses and said I we're talking to each other all the time collaborating on stories with there is an idea that would fly over they say don't be so ridiculous they're the competition it's easier for me to do because I don't work for the agency side of the business so I would be perfectly happy to work with Eric on something like that I think Eric's business and ap is more well I'll let you speak for yourself but I think they're more rooted in the agency model where I'm off on the consumer model yeah I would I think the answer to that would probably be no be perfectly honest yeah this day I'm een we we do have a little bit of a consumer presence in our athen in our social presence but by and large we are wholesalers of news and and it's important to remember we are collectively owned by american newspapers and broadcasters and and ultimately you know they I mean that's who our board is you know and so we need to keep that into consideration and so it's important for us to so we need to be competitive with those who you know with with Reuters and with AFP and Bloomberg and CNN everybody else and and so that I think that would that probably honestly wouldn't fly you know if you put there but there might be I mean you know there might be aspects of it too there are times when we have you know when conversations have taken place behind the scenes Anna good example of this is when and this is a situation where we probably would talk to Reuters and maybe even have in the past if there is a journalist who is in some kind of danger they've been kidnapped it's a situation where we because of the details of the situation we don't want it to be reported yet there might be a conversation that might happen along back channel saying look you're going to hear new reports about this and and there's almost the you know it's almost sort of an unwritten code that you know that we're all going to work together and communicate together to make sure that the decisions are made so that this person is not endangered in any way so that's a very extreme example so i don't know if we could wiggle in the way of toward a sort of normal day-to-day journalism but if you if you went to your bosses to say okay we're going to collaborate with Reuters AFP whoever it might be and the end result will be better for AP by collaborating then then surely that's they benefit in the end yeah it's an interesting question I'll bring it up break it open I'll bring up what I get back to the back to New York come back without millets next year on Eric carving these soon-to-be former social media editor of a hey before I ask a final question if we've got any more questions in the room I'll will take them otherwise I just ask final question anybody now Oh gentlemen on a letter just wait for the microphone if you would well I do work in a press agency in the news agency Italian it is lab rice and I II totally agree that probably in the future the role of the journeys must more and more be to verify the sources and and and check the facts but at the same time our daily work has to do with the fact that the newspapers they have less and less money to pay for the for the news and there's a growing number of websites that they just want to be filled from with news and they want to be filled very fast and they did they do not care really very much about the quality and you have lot of other players in the market that do the same work you do so what the market prices you to do is make a lot of news fast and so you push out the story and go to next so my question is do you think is there room for the role you are you are you are fine here you think in the future journalists will really be what you are defining so it's a question where's the row of quality journalism right but i think it's the bullet dreamy anybody gonna pick up on that this is a this is a problem I mean it's absolutely a very big problem a really important question because there is a lot of financial incentive to just to just dump a lot of volume out there for a lot of news sites news new sources for agri lot of aggregators in particular and I worry sometimes that I see but I see what I think of some news organizations being pulled in that direction a little bit and I sometimes see what I you know again it has to do with that speed versus accuracy thing it relates to that to where where you know kind of shoveling it out there and and then you know sort of shoot and ask questions later is I hope that translates into Italian that that is that that could be interfering with the practice of quality journalism there needs to be more financial incentive to getting it right and I think there is a fair amount I mean I think I think when a big news organization has a big misstep it really it's a pretty significant mark and their reputation for some time does it mean that they lose customers I think that's a really open question you know I mean deciding to you know I'm trying to think of all that I mean we've made our share of mistakes reuters has everybody else has to and I'm trying to think of specific examples of a lot of people pulling away for that reason and I don't really think of them and that maybe that's a little troubling you know maybe people should walk away when they see those big mistakes and when they see you know poor quality journalism and you know there's a lot about how reporting takes place online a lot of independent reporting that happens online has this problem too there's a lot of there's a it's something that troubles me about the way a lot of blogging works and there's no reason that it has to I believe that a blog is simply a format you put into it what you want but there but you see a lot of very you see a lot of blogging that doesn't really follow the general principles of journalism where you'll you'll say very harsh things about somebody without trying to talk to them for example that's something that we see all the time and and it's very frustrating but there's no that I worry that there's not enough disincentive tour that that sort of thing CNN is probably a perfect example the highest viewing figures exactly 91 yeah CNN got the highest viewing figures since 1991 for its poor coverage of the Boston bombings in that given that where's the place for quality accuracy the thing I mean right now I think what's happening with social media as a distribution network is that people don't go there necessarily right now first place their destination is still turn on the television and turn on CNN that's their instinct because that's the way we were kind of brought up in this media television age I think more and more social media will be the destination the first place you go if you know that you're going to get the most authentic view you'll go there I think the key to your question and answering thats realize i think that the role of journalism will probably split into a kind of a binary one I would suspect where you'll have the people who are you know essentially managing the overabundance of information the people who are sitting there watching all the sources coming into them people at the moment like Eric and I you know Anthony and then there'll be another group who are the ones adding the value in the context that is the differentiator for the organization so you go to the New York Times because it does a better job than the New York Post our context and I think that's going to be the way to have it we have that binary breaking news journalist pulling in the sources and the thing of a high volume I think it's only a danger if everyone's trying to get something exclusive in that case you know we own this fact John King on CNN I've just talked to a law enforcement official and I got a completely wrong you know the thing there is his desire to have something exclusive a scoop I think once that starts to fade away and we know that we're always going to be scooped by Twitter and social media then we can I think start to talk seriously that is binary you know system of journalism I mentioned your blog a few times and I was I I completely understand what you're saying about the death of the scoop do you honestly as a journalist whose work in social media and in traditional media do you honestly think the day will come where journalists are not going to want to skip their rival no I mean anyone talking in extremes about black and white when it comes to these issues and the evolution of our business journalism is wrong I'm not saying that at all what I am saying is this someone made a point to me that they were in Boston on the day of the bombing and they were literally on five am watching what was happening on Twitter and they went to get the newspaper USA Today which looked like it was from weeks before you know and that contrast between what social media can provide and journalists native to social media and the old ways of breaking scoops is making frankly from my daughter's generation she's you know eight years old and started to become aware of news um you know she's not gonna turn on the television ever again in breaking news scenario she won't look to the newspaper for her first port of call for news now hope she'll turn TV and newspapers to get context but less we could realize that you know generationally CNN might still be the draw today I don't think that's gonna be the case for my daughter and she's grown up I think it depends on the odd who the audience is who gets the news first is important to people who are working as traders or people who who use the Bloomberg terminal than par the rotors terminal that speed is very important to those type of consumers I think the general news consumer if you pulled someone on the street and ask them who broke a story I would bet you nine times out of ten they wouldn't know who broke a certain story so for the general news consumer I don't think it's as important when you're selling news to someone who's making money off that news it is very important how quickly you can get that news out and if you can beat your competitors at it I have actually wondered for a long time if anybody has ever cared who reported something first be a regardless of whether we're in the social digital world here and I think for us they're actually always has been value and is probably true for the other side of Reuters too because our customers our news organizations and so you know when they decide whether they want to be customers they want to see that they're getting material from us quickly but I think that I think it's true to an extent as mark saying i think the scoop is going to become less relevant less of the time you know it'll be relevant less at the time but I think maybe there will just be more of a ship that's already happening now where the scoop is going to be the great investigative piece it's gonna be the one where you're putting the work in for four days or weeks or even months and then not only you know instead of being able to just say well we got this two minutes before our competitors you can say we got the story and nobody else will ever report it other than to try to follow it up tomorrow once they can start sourcing up breaking news right you know breaking Watergate that's the scoop I want to see continued to my forever yes to really you wanna pick up Anna and I back that up I really one hundred percent and I hope that that happens to you so that's all that's of hope and agreement which is a perfect combination um the you get dissolved in your late i hain't the key point is also there's not going to be any financial incentive anymore for this scoop business because it's already out there if you if that whole business has been taken over by it social and you we are our daughter's generation mine six years old because you're older than me it's going to be getting when a breaking news event happens they'll hear it because their Facebook will pop or that Twitter will pop well it'll be something else in 20 years time that has no more value because we you've just said something which nobody has ever been able to understand is that we talk in a very close shop almost all our lives to journalists about journalism and we did this for years with twitter i'm sure you guys you know a couple of those terribly you get all your news from twitter which means everybody else gets all the news from twitter you talk to anybody still in the TV business and they'll say no no everybody still get seduced on television and we have to be reminded of this but that shift will shift with shift will happen and when people go to Twitter to your breaking news event they haven't there is no source there's just the data there's just that one hundred forty characters it doesn't matter to them and there's no value to it because everybody's repeating it so the only financial value is in the other stuff and that's a fabulous situation there's one of that's one other exception that is important to remember which is that when news breaks it's not always something that happens publicly there is breaking news that happens behind the scenes behind closed doors and and that's where you still as a professional journalist can we can still really make your mark when you when you break news it's not always an investigative piece it's just when you did a good job developing your sources and then you get word of something first that did not happen publicly I think there's still some value of that but again in the long run is the average person gonna care who broke it and probably not I think slate gave some good advice after the Boston Marathon coverage where they said you'd be better off turning off your television unplugging your pc and going in cleaning your gutters and picking up a newspaper the next day to find out what had happened in Boston I mean we we we're all in the news business we were there because we love news but actually I found myself in some ways agreeing with that sentiment but we're just following this stuff too closely now do we just need to just do we need to back off a little and just say I find myself having a real battle every day thinking you know I'm getting so ADHD you know I'm like it's all coming at me and I do get tired and sometimes in on a Saturday I'll just read a book and just turn off Twitter and on the pin dolor have no actually physically luxurious in the kind of feel of it but I think one of the interesting things for me is the journals I admire great did I wrote that blog post about a geico ernie pyle who is a war correspondent in the Second World War and the great strength of his reporting was that he would take these small little details that other people had missed in the case of Normandy the Normandy landings where he saw the bodies floating in the water he didn't we describe him directly what he said was this jellyfish among them and in the middle is a four-leaf clover you know good look hell yes and it's the most evocative thing I'm transported right there through his eyes I met was 60 years ago it still stands the test of time that for me is the scoop you know when a journalist take a few days to consider a situation comes up with an observation or a detail that someone else's missed that then defines the story forevermore and I I think there's a huge role for that and that is against my social media evangelism I know but it's it's a great complicated big gray world we live in and there'll be a great hopefully place for that kind of scoop as we go forward Charlie Beck it at the back professor Charlie Bucket a final question if you from you before we wrap yeah it's not Christmas to it and it's just a an offer really yeah I'm Charlie Beckett I run policy at the London School of Economics I just wanted to take up the parousia declaration thing and offer mark the support of LSC and I think also we could get md bill from Columbia and a bunch of other people if there is a demand out there you know monk in the industry and elsewhere then I think we ought to try and get it together and so I bite off the help thank you very much just to wrap up on that question of switching off the pc going and cleaning the gutters do you ever find yourself increasingly wanted to do that i do all the time i mean it you know one thing that's funny is that um the day of the explosions in Boston I i may have tweeted once that day you know I mean this is that and this is not a good example quite of what you're talking about but it's very important for us not to be so obsessed with with with our you know connections to these social networks and an output standpoint that we aren't doing our jobs but yeah I mean honestly I've got I got an eleventh month 11 month old myself so when I'm not working I sometimes forget where at where i work for stretches of time and I think there's incredible value of that and I think you come back a better journalist too yeah what I try to do is I don't completely I'm not off the grid completely when a big story like that is happening but I do I have over time decided to slow down the number of updates that I put out and do a little bit more backtrack check check what I'm seeing listen more and only put things out when I feel comfortable enough with all the sourcing and the verification that I've done and like I said earlier I'm doing less updates through social media and I'm going back to our website and doing things like live blogging or we call it live coverage that for whatever reason people don't like the term live blogging we do live coverage on our site and we take our time and we pull in more context around the things that we're seeing so we'll see things on social media will absorb it will call our sources will do all the verification and then we'll give you a little bit more context and more a better and more thoughtful version of what you're seeing on social media with with the resources that we have we're at a time you have been privileged to witness the birth of the perugia declaration soon to be the most important document in the history of social journalism it's not very often I get the chance to quote charles de gaulle at journalism conferences but he said nothing more enhances authority than silence and if there's one thing maybe we've learned from the discussion today from the coverage of the Boston bombings is that amid the deafening noise sometimes it's better to just keep your mouth shut sometimes so please thank thank you for your contributions and please join me in thanking our panel you you you

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