Student-organised conference hears of changing media landscape

Mon, Nov 12, 2012, 00:00

Young journalists will have to be more adaptable than ever and learn how to “sort the news from the noise” as the quantity of online content available to consumers increases, a student-organised media conference in Dublin heard.

Speaking to more than 200 students and media professionals in Trinity College on Saturday, Claire Wardle of Storyful, an online news gathering platform, said journalists in mainstream media institutions would have to adapt an entirely new way of providing content if they were to compete with the stream of videos, photos and opinion pieces uploaded by “citizen journalists” on social networking sites.

Ms Wardle said user-generated content could add huge value to the coverage of breaking news stories, but the source of the content had to be verified if newspapers, broadcasters and online news providers were to maintain the trust of their audience.

Irish Times editor Kevin O’Sullivan said that, although consumer habits were changing, quality journalism provided by traditional media institutions would continue to play a vital role in society by providing quality insight and analysis that readers could trust.

“We aim to distinguish ourselves from ‘the white noise’ with insight, context, explanation, clarity and a unique take on Ireland and on the world through Irish eyes,” he said.

While newspapers might not always be able to provide the news first, Mr O’Sullivan said, they were able to give the “why” and context behind stories, which readers valued.