Came across a post by Bruno Giusanni — writer, author and European TED conference director — in which he reprints an essay he wrote for the inaugural issue of Knight Forum, a new online magazine from the Knight Foundation. The point of Bruno’s post and essay are contained in a terrific quote from Ethan Zuckerman, in which he tells journalists: “Don’t speak. Point!”
The point (pardon the pun) is that in a more connected and de-institutionalized world, journalists are no longer — with rare exceptions — the established authorities on a subject, but instead exist to discover and aggregate and collate and interpret what is out there for an audience that doesn’t have the time or inclination to do it all themselves. Giussani says the journalist’s job is to:
“Animate a group of people; to develop ways to organize how information is gathered and used, with the participation of what used to be called “the audience;” and to help people navigate an information landscape that’s increasingly crowded and constantly shifting.”
Giussani goes on to talk about embedding of media, Web 2.0 principles and the idea of a “read/wite” Web, and the concept of a media outlet as a place where a community can grow and develop. He also notes that the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination was effectively an act of amateur journalism, which is something I hadn’t thought of before.