The Guardian’s Simon Waldman at Good Ideas Salon London
- 30 march 2009
At our Good Ideas Salon in London, Simon Waldman, head of digital at the Guardian, rounded out the day with a great discussion on the future of journalism and how the Guardian is adapting to a rapidly changing industry.
In his talk (which you can watch in full below), Simon presents ways the Guardian has transformed with the upheaval of old media models, choosing to embrace new approaches to storytelling, community building, and information gathering and sharing. Simon argues that the foundations of traditional media have been falling apart for years; the idea of centralized control of information started fading long before the so-called “death of newspapers”. The traditional means of news dissemination has been a system waiting for change – and now, publications like the Guardian are getting wise or getting whooped.
Particularly interesting is Simon’s discussion of ‘database journalism’, an emerging field of reportage in which journalists and publications openly share the data from which they build their stories. Simon explains that “journalists collect data all the time”, and that those bits of information could be published and accessed by readers in a constantly growing database of facts, stories, and information. A link to a relevant database could be included at the end of every story, not only allowing for transparency and accountability on the part of the publishers, but allowing the readers to be a part of the process.
But not only is it important to ‘share all you know‘, says Simon – publishers must also realize the importance of letting go. Information moves between channels faster now than ever. Simon argues that by embracing the free-flow of their product across mediums, publications can find ways of using their omnipresence to reach their audience in new, intelligent (and perhaps more meaningful) ways.