Tuesday 19 October, 6.00pm until 7.30pm, Central European University, 1051 Budapest, Nádor utca 9, Hungary
Venue: Central European University, 1051 Budapest, Nádor utca 9, Hungary
Internationally, journalism and the mass media have changed profoundly over recent years. Reportage and commentary are no longer the privilege of professionals, who are now challenged by ‘citizen journalists’ armed with mobile phones and laptops. On the world wide web, anyone can aspire to be a journalist: numerous ‘public platform’ websites - from NowPublic to YouTube - allow the person in the street to post his own on-the-spot reports, photos and opinions about the big issues of the day. Mainstream media struggle to respond. In Hungary, for example, leading newspapers such as HVG and Népszabadság Online have invested heavily in their online presence, creating ‘blogospheres’ in which their own writers, and invited guests, can comment on events. Even Rupert Murdoch, that doyen of the old newspaper world, acknowledges the next generation will have ‘a different set of expectations about the kind of news they will get, including when and how they will get it, where they will get it from and who they will get it from.’ News International has led the way in introducing pay-walls for its online content as newspaper sales decline.
Some enthusiastic commentators impute digital media with revolutionary powers: to vanquish old fears about corporate ownership influencing news agendas or the political bias of state-run media. Chinese activists can communicate beneath the radar of the authorities, and Iranian protesters’ phone-films showed the world what was happening despite official censorship. In Central and Eastern Europe too it is hoped that political domination of local media may be counterbalanced by alternative news outlets on Web 2.0.
Should the opening up of the world of journalism to the ‘masses-on-the-mouse’ be celebrated? Can we hope to rely on a ‘democratised’ virtual coffee shop without editorial control? Are the mainstream media so obsessed with imitating the blogosphere that they risk sacrificing their own standards? By trumpeting a culture in which everybody’s unedited opinions must be heard, do we risk reducing ‘journalism’ to a competing cacophony of undifferentiated hear-say and prejudice? Something can be true regardless of public opinion, so might attempts to ensure ‘balance’ actually get in the way of reporting the truth? Without journalistic ethics such as editorial control, fact-checking, and an aspiration for objectivity, how can we ensure people get the information they need to be well-informed citizens?
The discussion will be introduced by Kate Coyer, director, Centre for Media and Communication Studies, CEU
senior researcher and associate professor, Moholy-Nagy University for Applied Arts, Budapest; cultural historian, journalist, essayist and translator
|Professor Frank Furedi|
sociologist and social commentator; author, What's Happened to the University?, Power of Reading: from Socrates to Twitter, On Tolerance and Authority: a sociological history
Annenberg Fellow in Civic Media, Centre for Media and Communication Studies, CEU, Budapest; former US journalist and media commentator
freelance journalist; chief secretary, Association of Hungarian Content Providers; former editor-in-chief, Kreatív
convenor, The Academy; author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination
BBC presenter tells Cheltenham Literary Festival that citizen journalists will never replace real newsJohn Plunkett, Guardian, 11 October 2010
Here and now, in that part of the twenty-first century world which today lives less by origination and production and more by the provision of mediating services, we are getting yet another kind of journalism.Andrew Calcutt, Independent Blogs, 3 October 2010
Hungary's much-criticised new media law was reminiscent of a totalitarian regime, the OSCE's media freedom representative said Tuesday on the margins of a conference on free speech in Budapest.France24, 22 September 2010
Everyone's a critic these days – so how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? And who is reviewing the reviewers?Bella Todd, Guardian, 2 September 2010
If we value good journalism, why don’t we pay for it online?Joy Lo Dico, Prospect, 24 June 2010
In a thorough empirical investigation of journalistic practices in different news contexts, New Media, Old News explores how technological, economic and social changes have reconfigured news journalism, and the consequences of these transformations for a vibrant democracy in our digital age. The result is a piercing examination of why understanding news journalism matters now more than ever. It is essential reading for students and scholars of journalism and new media.
Natalie Fenton, Sage Publications, 21 October 2009
The media industry is in the midst of a 'perfect storm', as recession, fragmented audiences and the shift of press advertising to the internet, impact upon it. Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications at the University of Westminster, analyses the effects of these changes on the industry, and how Government and regulatory intervention can best enable it to move forward in a changing world.Steven Barnett, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2009
Yes, rational modern societies ought to be based on reason and evidence. But experts are increasingly wheeled out to close down debate rather than provide enlightenment.Frank Furedi, spiked, 11 September 2009
Beckett sees the growth of new media and technologies as an opportunity for, rather than a threat to, the traditional practices of journalism. However, he observes, those practices will need to change and adjust to take advantage of the opportunities offered by what he calls networking journalism.
Charlie Beckett, Wiley-Blackwell, 20 May 2008
Perhaps the most important difference between Old Media (television, radio, print) and the Net is the fundamentally different way they engage the user.Ellen Hume, NetMedia Conference, 1 July 1999