Journalism Debate: Burson-Marsteller + Howard Rheingold + ELLE’s Joe Zee and Kate Lanphear

posted on: April 17, 2010

How is online media not only changing, but also transforming different industries and disciplines? I’ve been reading articles, surveys, studies and engaging in conversations about this very topic to the point, I had to share my thoughts and some interesting findings with you! I’ll just share two plus an ELLE article :)

First, Burson-Marsteller, one of the largest full service public relations agencies in the world conducted a survey with 115 senior journalists from all across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to get insight on how the digital revolution is changing the publishing field.  Here’s what I thought was pretty interesting…

Read the whole survey here

The last graph on the left reveals expert journalists believe blogs are the most damaging medium to the journalism field. I can agree with that to some degree, I guess it depends on the context. Which leads me to what I want to share next. Howard Rheingold, is a writer, teacher, an online instigator and just happens to be my previous professor at UC Berkeley! Here he shares how people need to become critics of information that’s presented to them – “crap detection 101“- when you read something online you really don’t have any guarantee that it’s accurate. As more blogs are created and more publishing platforms are developed (for example, tumblr and posterous), depending on the information we’re seeking we should question, who are the authors and question their credibility.

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Elle’s Joe Zee and Kate Lanphear Have Different Views on Fashion Bloggers

Zee said last night:

“You know, Tavi, like her or don’t like her, she’s 13 — whether she even really writes it herself, the idea that she has gotten all this attention, it’s because of the Internet, not because of anything else. [At Elle] we’re talking about people who have really done this their entire lives, who’ve really covered fashion, who really understand fashion … understand the history of fashion, can critique it from a point of view, [can] actually relay it back to something they’ve experienced and understand. I don’t think Tavi even knows what happened five years ago. She has every right to [post] on the Internet, she has every right to have the following she has … everybody can follow her and find her creative or funny or quirky or inspiring, but the idea is there are people here [at Elle] who do know the history and I think that Anne [Slowey] stresses this. It’s absolutely true: if you don’t know what you’re talking about, then do you really have the credibility to talk about it?”

Elle style director Kate Lanphear sees things differently. She countered:

“But there’s also something beautiful about these fresh voices that can say something that maybe sometimes someone who does have a lot of credibility misses, or they see it through a really fresh eye. I think that’s the debate that is going on in our industry full-stop, because we don’t want to discredit years and years of experience and hard work and paying your dues and learning about what we do day to day, but there is something really beautiful about all of these really fresh perspectives that come out of the Internet.”

What do you think?

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