Well, no, not if some of the panel were to be believed. Adrian Monck, in particular, bravely tried to paint a picture of business as usual – he seems to also believe that the music industry has already won the fight over filesharing – there are producers and there are consumers, the consumers should just keep their eyes and ears open while we keep shovelling stuff at them. Same misguided mantra – meanwhile the world has changed and the means of production are already in the hands of the workers.
James Cherkoff jumped in valiantly pointing out the upside-down thinking by quoting David Weinberger (“When the former authorities are the last to know that they’re not in charge any more, you have the conditions for farce”)
Frank Kane’s easy moderation reminded me that the best panel leaders act as good journalists, creating a story on the fly.
Personally, I don’t think this is a top-down or bottom-up thing. It’s much more about equality of access. It’s also about expanding and extending what News is (I perceived some pretty narrow mental model in the room) and I think this is where a lot of the fear comes from. There is a scarcity mentality encouraged by the dominant business model because it’s all about capturing people’s attention for as much time as possible in order that they might be influenced by the advertising. In this world, you end up trying to write something so attractive that it stops someone reading something else.
That’s not how bloggers work. I really don’t care how many people read this blog, in fact, I feel bad if I don’t give you enough links to send you *away* from this blog to read someone else. I enjoy the process of reading and writing. I enjoy being part of a community of like-minded people. I enjoy talking to people about the ideas I present here. I enjoy getting feedback and engagement, positive and negative, but the numbers aren’t the issue for me.
After the bearpit, some good, less confrontational chat, including the chance to meet the charming, attractive, effortlessly witty and easily flatterable (oh and fragrant, don’t forget fragrant – Ed.) Sue Brooks from AP Television News Her title is “Output Controller” which might mislead you into thinking she ain’t cool, you’d be wrong – job titles say a lot more about the organisation than the people.
Thanks very much to Jemima Gibbons for the invitation and organisation.