As audiences and consumers of the news become increasingly wary of the journalists and media outlets that produce it, academic and blogger Jay Rosen calls for a rethink of the underlying methods of news production.
He claims news has become so incremental and fluid that audiences lack the necessary background knowledge to make sense of the information they are receiving. Rosen also notes that journalists have become captives of deadlines and are forgoing context for timeliness.
But as production and distribution become cheaper, easier and more flexible, Rosen argues there is a need for journalists and reporters to reclaim their role as "explainers," taking a Socratic position on behalf of their audiences.
Jay Rosen was speaking at the ABC's Ultimo Centre in Sydney, with ABC Radio's "PM" presenter Mark Colvin.
The presenter of ABC Radio's current affairs program PM, Mark Colvin is an award-winning journalist.
Colvin first joined ABC radio news as a cadet after graduating from Oxford University with a B.A (Hons) in English.
Jay Rosen is a professor of journalism at New York University and the author of PressThink, a weblog about journalism and its ordeals (www.pressthink.org). In June 2005, PressThink won the Reporters Without Borders 2005 Freedom Blog award for outstanding defense of free expression. In April 2007 PressThink recorded its two millionth visit.
He also blogs at the Huffington Post. In July 2006 he announced the debut NewAssignment.Net, his experimental site for pro-am, open source reporting projects. The first one was called Assignment Zero, a collaboration with Wired.com. A second project is OfftheBus.Net with the Huffington Post.
Rosen is also a member of the Wikipedia Advisory Board.
In 1999, Yale University Press published his book, What Are Journalists For?, which is about the rise of the civic journalism movement. Rosen wrote and spoke frequently about civic journalism (also called public journalism) over a ten-year period, 1989-99. From 1993 to 1997 he was the director of the Project on Public Life and the Press, funded by the Knight Foundation.