Last week I chaired a ‘Thought Leaders’ event at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in London where I interviewed Tom Foremski who became the first major journalist to quit mainstream media to make a living from blogging when he left the Financial Times to found Silicon Valley Watcher.
The event did leave me with some optimism that corporate media – that is companies paying real journalists to do real reporting – might be one future for quality journalism. Where I wasn’t so optimistic was where the next generation of quality journalists will come from. The traditional training ground was local newspapers and their decline mean opportunities for that crucial early learning are becoming rare. Some see the plethora of blogs and websites covering every conceivable subject area as being the alternative. I’m not convinced as they don’t have the seasoned old hacks who can teach the tricks of the trade. And I don’t mean fiddling expenses or hacking phones, but the old journalistic craft of knowing how to sniff out the truth in a story. How to check and double check the sources and facts. How to write well (and it’s not being pedantic to say that means good grammar, doesn’t need perfect grammar).
We explored a wide range of topics including content, corporate media, ethics, reputation, SEO, ‘Every Company is a Media Company’ and ‘brand journalism’ (we both hate the term).
As I was chairing the event and interviewing Tom I didn’t take any notes or record the conversation. However, I’ve captured some of the best tweets in Storify. If the embed doesn’t work for you then you can see it on the Storify site here.