What role should journalists play in the digital age?
Good leaves: find an excerpt from the book Do you remember the digital? (Mélibée editions) by Bernard-Roger Mathieu.
How to regain power within this digital e-volution? (extract 1)
Its name: mirror!
Democracy has its tools and the journalist remains in control. This sector has constantly strived to meet demand. France with its 37,415 journalists holding the Journalists identity card has lost 489 professionals since 2009.
Most of these are still part of the written press today. The presence nationally, but above all also in all regions of one or more titles offers information networks whose plurality guarantees readers a very appreciable French freedom. But the fighting, paradoxically, continues. If we can consider that the information is due to the citizens and that there is a “public service”, all the press organs are severely subject to the reign of money and their necessary financial balance. For this reason, the State through its aid regulates the difficulties and loosens the purse strings. But these “floats” sometimes are not enough. The independent press, a barometer of the social atmosphere, must find its place to allow the legitimate expression of currents of thought. Bringing together what is scattered, it alone can make coherence essential to the critical opinions that form these currents, the ideas that run, the emerging fashions, the reasons for expressions. On the Internet, it suffices to launch “decodersAnd there are blogs of journalists on alert.
– And the press in there? In? Sure? With? She needed a printing press, what will she do with the data?
– The press? Pascal Chavernac asks us: What would be his role in the functioning of this tool?
“During the events of Charlie weeklyAll the media covered the events. The televisions, tolerated at a good distance, at the rear of the impact points, did what they could with uninformed journalists. Only one gifted with initiative had the idea of telephoning the printing press. From the studios, the commentators “killed” the time providing static images just tolerated by the police. And from time to time sprang up on the canvas, from which we do not know where, unverifiable flashes. Some have proven to be correct, some have not. On the “hot” raw, the journalist provides information; above all he uses the conditional if the “pipe” has not been “intersected”. Internet is a source. An info is at least two sources.
Journalist, I capture information, I cross-reference it then I cross it with others putting in place the coherent pieces of a puzzle which gives an image as precise as possible. Then, I retransmit the different aspects and consequences of this open information so that the reader can form his own citizen opinion. A society cannot live without a social link connecting the poles, that is to say the part of the mechanic which is added and finishes the work, the link through which passes useful information for a better knowledge of its environment. In a sense: for users who at one time or another will need to express themselves or be informed; in the other direction: to convey the needs of the base to the decision-makers.
– Concretely where does this press find its place?
– If I understand correctly, we are advancing on a field where almost everything has to be built. We talked about commercial interactivity and the example where the passer-by looking at the window is suddenly solicited by an SMS or an email informing him of the promotion underway in this store. For me, it’s advertising aggression, an abusive and indigestible pop-up. I much prefer the specialist journalist who informs his readers about the promotions in progress in his catchment area and the impartial comparison that can provide. Society needs free journalists who assess the situation whether it is commercial as here or political, or from any other source. An action which can only be conceived in a plurality with contradictory opinions of several journalists. It is not the journalist who dictates his choices, but the reader who remains in control of his choices. Intermediary the journalist will inform about the flows, the costs of the flows, the risks of this or that in the interest of his readers. A watchman!
– So where do we put it?
– I do not know. Where he is. That’s not bad. The future will tell. In any case, in the readable proximity of its actions and its investigations. It can also be a request from the media concerned about their future. This may also be a demand of the trade unions. The SNJ (national union of journalists) in particular, keeps abreast of the issue. What about tomorrow from data journalism?
– Can we imagine a kind of agency bringing together, sorting and replenishing either the journalists who will promote it, or directly to readers contenting themselves with raw information?
– It’s a good question.