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‘Old media must embrace the amateur’ says Reuters Head

There’s a fascinating article over at the Financial Times by Tom Glocer of (head of Reuters) on how Old media must embrace the amateur which has a lot of talk about new media. Here are a few snippets:


‘There were indications last year that a significant shift in the balance of power between professional content companies and home-based creators lay ahead….

It is important to understand what has changed. Bloggers, after all, have always been a part of history – read Daniel Defoe, Samuel Pepys or James Boswell. The same is true for citizen journalists: just check out first-hand accounts of any big historical event. The difference now is the scale of distribution and the ability to search. Because of this, we in the media industry face a profound challenge, as significant and transformational as Internet 1.0. So how should we respond to and control content fragmentation in this era of two-way flow?…

First, media companies need to be “seeders of clouds”. To have access to high-value new content, we need to attract a community around us….

Second, we need to be “the provider of tools”. This means promoting open standards and interoperability, which will allow a diverse set of consumer-creators to combine disparate types of content….

Third, we must improve on our skills as the “filter and editor”…

In the news industry, professional and “amateur” content combined creates a better product. It tells the story at a deeper level….

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You have to be open to both amateur and professional content to tell the story completely. I believe that professional articles and photographs, if available, will generally be authoritative. But, in the first instance, they can be complemented by content created by amateurs….

We are now at our crossroads. Old media – and I now would include the first wave of online publishing – have a choice: integrate the new world or risk becoming less relevant.’

That’s one of the more insightful and progressive pieces I’ve seen for a while when it comes to Mainstream Media interacting with new media. Nice work Tom – you should start a blog!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Reuters has always been a progressive company. Started in London it led the way for a long time, putting terminals into newspaper office etc. Then the likes of Bloomberg came along and squeezed them in the biggest market, the U.S. Under Tom Glocer they seem to be fighting back.

    That is a very blogger-friendly point of view, I’ll agree. Makes a change from the present gloomy climate in the blogosphere.

  2. John Hood says:

    Glocer appears to be reinvigorating the company!

  3. Joe says:

    Hey Darren,

    I read an article the other day by Reuters that they even welcome independent writers (Bloggers) copy and paste entire articles for publication.

    Sorry, I didn’t keep the link, but it was in a release by MSNBC.

    Joe

  4. Joe,

    That’s interesting. They’ve usually got a strong copyright notice on everything they put out. If you ever find that link, maybe you could post it. :-)

  5. Andy Merrett says:

    Just a piece of advice – if you want to keep the text of that article better go and grab it very soon – FT.com puts articles behind its ‘subscriber-only’ wall after about three days, and it was dated 7 March.

  6. Isn’t the term “amateur” a bit condescending? Bloggers who have ads are pros. Many are far more porfessional than the average staff journo.

  7. Matthias says:

    It’s not really all that new, Murdoch said something along those lines a couple months back.

    Of course they promote interoperability. Reuters and the other press agencies need to be able to grab a couple tenthousand RSS feeds and parse them for the data they want so they can redistribute it under their label. This will only work if

    a) we use a limited set of RSS formats
    b) we tag like hell, and tag well
    c) we adopt the other microformats available today in a semi-standard fashion.

    Wonderful news for the news industry. But the big question is: What’s in it for us, the bloggers and content creators?

  8. Vince Chan says:

    QUOTE FROM ABOVE: Isn’t the term “amateur” a bit condescending? Bloggers who have ads are pros. Many are far more porfessional than the average staff journo.

    Whoa, wait a minute there. I agree with the last sentence except change the word ‘Many’ to ‘Some’ and ‘Bloggers who have ads are pros’? A little bit of editing would have helped the opinion there!

  9. TLB says:

    Old Media might want to consider embracing the truth and dropping the propaganda once in a while:

    example

    example

  10. Sorry about the editing Vince – but I’m not used to this online writing business. I’m used to have sub-editors to sort this stuff out for me. Because, you see, I’m not a blogger. I’m an MSM journo …

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  2. [...] So how long will it take for the rest of the MSM to catch up? I have to second Darren’s thoughts at Problogger.net about this piece from Tom Glocer, chief executive of Reuters. That’s one of the more insightful and progressive pieces I’ve seen for a while when it comes to Mainstream Media interacting with new media. Nice work Tom – you should start a blog! [...]

  3. [...] Darren Rowse, found today really interesting article on Financial Times by Tom Glocer, chief executive of Reuters. It is about how old media, should respond to the growth of blogosphere. [...]

  4. [...] It was a refreshing conversation having had seen a couple of instances recently where well known and respected Australian journalists have blown off New Media as insignificant. Perhaps these two people are in the minority they left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. Tom’s approach to this article (and hopefully more to come) was quite the opposite and went a long way to restoring my believe that Mainstream Media and New Media can both exist side by side – and perhaps even work best together (as Reuters head Tom Glocer said a day or two back). [...]

  5. [...] It was a refreshing conversation having had seen a couple of instances recently where well known and respected Australian journalists have blown off New Media as insignificant. Perhaps these two people are in the minority they left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. Tom’s approach to this article (and hopefully more to come) was quite the opposite and went a long way to restoring my believe that Mainstream Media and New Media can both exist side by side – and perhaps even work best together (as Reuters head Tom Glocer said a day or two back). [...]

  6. [...] It was a refreshing conversation having had seen a couple of instances recently where well known and respected Australian journalists have blown off New Media as insignificant. Perhaps these two people are in the minority they left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. Tom’s approach to this article (and hopefully more to come) was quite the opposite and went a long way to restoring my believe that Mainstream Media and New Media can both exist side by side – and perhaps even work best together (as Reuters head Tom Glocer said a day or two back). [...]