I just watched this video interview with Jay Rosen from The Economist’s Tea with The Economist series. The interviewer asks Jay, “What would be the job description of a journalist in the future?”
I think there are different jobs that make up a twenty-first century journalist. One is to be a highly intelligent filter of information coming in. Another is to be an expert in reputation and reliability systems so that you are able to know who a reliable source is because there are so many sources, right? Another is community manager. Managing a community of people who have knowledge and interact with you as a journalist. Knowing how to have not just several dozen sources in your little black telephone book that you use to do your beat, but thousands of sources. Tens of thousands. And how to work efficiently with large groups of people to synthesize information is important. And also important is how to take the greater knowledge we have coming from how people use the internet. Because everything people do online is recorded. How to take this information about what people are clicking, what they’re interested in, where they’re going on the web, what they’re doing now. And treating it as clues to demand. Produce into that demand, without reducing yourself to simply a ratings-driven, click-driven reflex machine.
I think the most successful journalists are going to excel at various hybrid forms of traditional reporting, editing, checking, verifying and new forms of gathering, managing, interacting with people.