Two days ago I went to the #zonedebate of Zeitonline on “The Future of Journalism” – a conversation between Wolfgang Blau, editor in chief Zeit Online, and Alan Rusbridger, Editor in chief of UK’s The Guardian whose online platform attracts 32 million people a month!
The conversation made “differences” clearly visible! And the mayor difference between Zeit Online and The Guradian in my eyes wasn’t the fact that The Guardian is in a pretty comfortable position and “only has to seek for profit” – as Wolfgang Blau expressed it – the difference was really a rather different understanding of their particular culture of journalism. While The Guardian is truly embracing “new media”, understands the concept of openess and collaboration and let both become substantial parts of daily business, Zeit Online still seems to live in “old tradition”. Somehow: “We, the journalists are THE gatekeepers of objective and solid researched information”.
Rusbridger encouraged journalists and publishing houses to play, explore and experience these new opportunities and to find out what’s really working – moneywise and from the journalistic point of view! Without this experience/knowledge they will fail anyway!
Blau was also pointing out to David Weinberger’s questions month ago: “Is transparancy the new objectivity?” and Rusbridger immediately responded: “Transparency – this concept I like!”. If there is transparency in journalism – who needs the concept of objectivity any longer? Especially when objectivity is determined by the journalists themselves! This was hard to take for Blau.
And above all: I really enjoyed Alan Rusbridgers “Englishnism” 😉