Obsolete journalists? Not quite yet

THE debate continues to rage as to what the role of journalists is in a tech savvy world? The advent of social media such as Twitter has no doubt changed the way people consume the news and how the news is even gathered.

Many people now bypass the journalist and get news directly from the source, but the importance of having a impartial paid for newsman is probably getting more crucial.

Sure a lot of problems that the industry currently faces are it’s own fault, all you have to do is look at the Leveson inquiry. Misinformation disseminated at the request of governments in return for favours and likewise, but this little excerpt from a piece on the BBC News pretty much sums up why you can’t just rely on crowd-sourcing and sometimes you need an old fashion reporter at the scene.

Police put the number gathering on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square for the “Fair Elections” rally at 25,000 while organisers talked of 100,000.

The BBC’s Daniel Sandford reports from the scene that the number seems to be closer to 50,000, and people continued to rally on the square after hearing the speakers.


The piece is regarding the protests for fairer elections across Russia, thought to be the biggest protests since the iron curtain came down.

But the authorities (obviously keen to play down the significance) gave a small valuation of the number of protestors, whilst the protestors obviously keen to point out that there is a significance behind their cause over-egged the numbers. The reporter – in this case Daniel Sanford made his own estimation and gave us what can be assumed as a more accurate number.

Either that or he is trying very hard to be diplomatic and decided to take the median from the proclaimed figures by respective parties. But somehow I doubt that.

As useful as social media can be in news gathering, traditional paid for journalists aren’t obsolete, not unless the Japanese can get Asimo to give us an accurate shorthand, copy for the web, print, audio and do a piece to camera all at once.


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