Marc Reeves prompted a lot of hot air (sorry, heated discussion) with his speech about the challenges facing the regional press. As Marc points out, he would say what he is saying because he’s decided to pin his colours to the online-only mast.
But for me, the most important thing Marc – a former colleague of mine when he was editor of the Birmingham Post – has said this week was reported on journalism.co.uk, not his own blog.
Marc is a speaker at News Rewired at the end of the month, and when asked whether it was essential journalists used social media, he replied:
Pretty much. If you aren’t prompting a few more visits to your site each day by reaching out to that part of your audience that gets a lot of its news via, say, Twitter, then why aren’t you? The deliberate, planned use of social media can bring extraordinary rewards. But equally, if you think social media is the be all and end all of what you need to do as a journo you’re in the wrong job. Go down the pub and talk to people in your target audience. They’d still rather give a scoop to a person than an avatar.
In other words, the medium may change, and new skills may be required – but many of the old ones are just as important. Journalism is about people, not the technology.