Confession is good for the soul

Writing in the UK Press Gazette, Simon Bucks, associate editor of Sky News, makes a welcome admission:

The cultural issue is altogether tougher, not just for Sky News, but for all news organisations. Most journalists have grown up with the idea that we tell people the news which we think they should be told.

Confession time: I was guilty too. I once argued that you wouldn’t trust a citizen journalist any more than a citizen heart surgeon. It was a paternalistic and sermonising approach that most of us shared, but it won’t do any more.

Web 2.0 (the generic name for the interactive internet) is giving the media to the people. On-demand news means that people can choose the news they want, when they want it. And they can interact with it, rant about it, and contribute to it. The coming generation of news-users, the 16- to 24-year-olds, have grown up with this concept, and expect nothing less.

Bucks also writes about an impressive video he made that I saw at the Murdoch confab in Monterey that posits a world of instant, interactive news we don’t have yet but that is quite possible today. My Monday column for the Guardian is somewhat related, talking about other structures for web content that are possible today. The internet has become too formatted and formulaic already. Time for some dynamite.