Reuters EIC: “The Conversation About The Story Is As Important As The Story Itself”

reuters schlesingerTalk about the future of journalism often takes on a victim-istic tenor.

That’s why the post from Reuters EIC David Schlesinger “Changing Journalism; Changing Reuters” stands out.

Rather than lament, he’s charging the hill.

There’s poetic sensibility in his words:

 

Knowing the story is not enough.

Telling the story is only the beginning.

The conversation about the story is as important as the story itself.

This is a far cry from the days of Walter Cronkite telling everyone what to think Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. From Schlesinger’s perspective, the journalist takes on the dual role of reporting as well as pulling in other relevant information from others who may or may not be professionals.

Along this line, he clearly sees Reuters embracing social media:

What is great about 2010 is that technology has created a completely new concept of community. And it has given that community new powers to inform and connect.

It’s interesting to read these words with the context of supporting a client called ScribbleLive which has created a content management system that marries the newsroom with social media. In fact, it just so happens that Reuters uses the ScribbleLive platform to do some of the very things highlighted by Schlesinger. For example, Reuters covered the Gulf Spill this way, augmenting its reporting with third-party content.

Schlesinger goes on to say the Reuters model will combine the best of both worlds, “the professionalism of the journalist and the power of the community.”

Underpinning the Reuters approach, storytelling remains a core tenet as Schlesinger shares:

If we have learned anything from these past two years, it has been that pure facts are not enough.

Pure facts don’t tell enough of the story; pure facts won’t earn their way …

We’ve been drowning in facts, and that deluge continues to threaten.

I’m surprised the Schlesinger post hasn’t caused more buzz in the blogosphere and among the “journorati.”

What Schlesinger has written is more than an insider’s look at Reuters adjusting to a digital world that puts the consumer in charge.

It’s a manifesto for news organizations around the world.

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2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Tom Foremski October 20th, 2010 1:36 pm

    That’s a very astute position being taken by Reuters. I’ll be interested to see how it develops because moderating the conversation is really important but time consuming.

  2. Lou Hoffman October 21st, 2010 3:03 am

    Appreciate your perspective Tom.

    I think moderating the conversation not only takes time but calls for an expertise that is as much “art” as science.”

    Wonder if any J schools have courses that adress this very topic.

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