Media practitioners, journalists, communication professionals around the world need to build consensus to realize the significance of globalization, in the context of the socio-political gaps, economic interests, cultural and religious values, to strengthen the fundamental rights of individuals and societies.
Needless to say, efficient and transparent mechanisms need to be developed, which can help in determining the quality and implications of what is ‘good’ content and which is ‘bad’. Bringing the debate in the public domain will bridge the unnecessary gaps that are reasons for creating knowledge deficit in the society. Therefore enabling a healthy debate of reasoning and rationale.
In emerging economies, early adaptation of the ICT tools will connect communities pertaining local relevance with those ensuring best practices at a global playing field, hence raising the bar of journalistic standards encouraging not only an effective but an appreciative-well-informed society. It is through this transition, which gives an individual or the society to question and demand response playing a vital role in the newly formed democracies of the world. And because this industry on its own is so rapidly evolving, most fearing change will not able to adapt, compete and coexist in the digital space.
So as Adrian, suggests in his video, that the future of journalism, is for the digital savvy group of people having the ability to analyze massive amounts data; but then the question arises in what context does one critically evaluates such information…
When you cover a story, or chase a lead hot or cold is this the way you’re looking for it to be…can this be the way how journalism should be done and offered to the masses or does this framework seem one-dimensional?
Journalism in emerging markets have a unique opportunity to reinvent its traditional model, re-identify challenges, and manifest its achievements in form of knowledge in the public interest at the policy as well as at the grass-root (individual/community) level.
The Boston Globe and the MIT’s Center for Civic Media acquired a grant worth $250,000 dollars from the Knight Foundation, in order to build tools for newsgathering and reader engagement. This is one of the prime examples how new journalism trends will emerge from environments of mutual collaborations.
The industry, at least in Pakistan would need to go back to the Academicians, establish linkages that are very so often discussed but not processed into tangible results. In other words, and very right put by the Secretary of State’s Advisor on Innovation, Alec J Ross ” Innovation comes from taking risks, accepting failures” reason why we see so many venture capitalists investing in start-ups are thriving in the US.
The dynamics of the thought processes with the future generations to come will not be determined by shady propagandist tactics used by special interest groups that encourage fear-mongering that teased the less-informed segments of the society.
As the society is becoming increasingly informed; the ability to navigate through large amounts data by rationalizing with objective narratives will determine the credibility of the journalists. The industry-academics will need to ensure that the concept of journalism in the public interest is not lost in implied tactics of the external factors acting as the influencing force that challenges the credibility and the authenticity of the profession. One methodology of evaluation can be based on the following indices:
1) Content reflecting diversity.
- Reports that highlight the issue and content that reflects an unbiased viewpoint.
- Article that are thoroughly researched and well written and are edited by a professional news outlet.
- Articles that mention people with contrasting viewpoints.
2) Content should serve the need of all groups in the society: public, private and community based.
- Identify stakeholders: government, security establishment, political parties/groups, minorities, religious groups, cultural groups
- Understand the history and be familiar with coverage of diverse groups in society. Usefulness of the news information for the public at large
- Accessibility of the content
3) Content displays culture of self regulation.
- Applied ethical guidelines and practices that govern the profession and the legal implications and considerations that inform the profession
- Including information about sources, accuracy estimates, possibilities of bias and voluntary retractions
4) Communicating with fairness and impartiality.
- Articles that demonstrate the ability to apply tools, concepts and technology appropriate for the presentation of images and information on diversity
- Minimum 2 or more contrasting views in the story. Use of neutral (unemotional) vocabulary
5) Content displays high-level of trust and confidence with the civil society organization/academia.
- Credibility can be measured by the number of readers or subscribers of the professional news outlet
6) The content should also reflect the linguistic diversity of the targeted issues.
- Credit reports that discuss regional (and not national issues) in less commonly spoken languages and that interact with minorities in their local languages
- The report includes interviews and/or information from linguistically diverse segments of society
7) The content should represent the views of the entire political spectrum and the wide spectrum of the social interests including the weakest segments of the society.
- Is there a political bias or not?
- Choice of a topic (or topics) that highlight a minority (or underrepresented) group. Major piece on a minor political group
Although this methodology is/could potentially be debatable, and is open for constructive critique, yet it covers variety of elements that an informed material, in whichever form that may be, can be evaluated and assessed over its quality. The amalgamation of the framework and the assessment criteria of creating quality content ensures the credibility of the content-originator/journalists.
In times where it may seem that the journalism in public good no longer matters, it only reinforces the behavior which will provide favorable circumstances to the bulging youth populations in the emerging economies to challenge the existence of monstrous infrastructure and traditional revenue models by exploring and innovating new wheels of the game.