Do journalists need an internet manifesto?

Not agreeing with all that is stated here in this Internet Manifesto created by German journalists I do find point nine The Internet is the new venue for political discourse interesting. It demonstrates how the internet is a powerful tool in maintaining democracy as it: “Thrives on participation and freedom of information.”

The internet provides a platform for debate on the media’s output as it enables the people, formally known as the audience, to engage in talks on almost anything and everything. As the Internet Manifesto explains it encourages active discussion which simply wasn’t possible not so long ago. The public are now able to express their opinions by using online mediums like Twitter and comment sections on articles.

In Alison Gow’s blog she talks about internet manifestos and how putting them on the web isn’t the answer because: “Too many of the people who need convincing aren’t looking there that often.”

Alison acknowledges the vital importance of the net and how every journalist needs involvement in its development. She understands that although the print media claim they are internet savvy, this isn’t always the case – especially with regards to the execs: “The focus is [still] on the money-making print product.”

So the problem lays with staff, as Alison states: “Higher up the editorial food chain” that aren’t internet literate. They refuse to learn the new ways of journalism, not grasping that the industry has changed forever.

In essence she is saying just because you understand how it once worked there’s no point having your head in the sand hoping that the industry will  go back to the way it was. Until a time-travelling DeLorean gets invented, that’s not going to happen.

These people should embrace change and help foster democracy online. A manifesto won’t implement this, but it serves as a reference for those that should be paying attention.

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