Updated Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:34am AEST A challenge from a former Howard government spin-doctor on Twitter this week set me to thinking, not for the first time, about how journalists, especially ABC journalists, in the age of social media, can maintain and protect their impartiality. You should know first that I use Twitter mainly to disseminate work by other people that interests me. I post links to articles, essays, video or audio, and jokes to leaven the mix, which reflect the fairly wide selection of reading I do on the internet every day.
At four-thirty in the afternoon on Monday, February 1, 1960, four college students sat down at the lunch counter at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. They were freshmen at North Carolina A. & T., a black college a mile or so away. “I’d like a cup of coffee, please,” one of the four, Ezell Blair, said to the waitress. “We don’t serve Negroes here,” she replied.
Prepping for a session for the International Press Institute (IPI) annual congress last week in Vienna, I asked the panelists, among other things, to describe a media trend they find encouraging. In addressing the same question, I found myself hooked by an idea that has no metrics but seems quite real nonetheless: a significant shift in attention from the diminishment of journalism to its rediscovery and reinvention. This sort of epiphany arrives at different times for different people; many digital pioneers have declared as much for years. The turning point for me came in the 152-page report on the future of news that I edited for IPI along with Poynter Online Director Julie Moos . The report, “ Brave News Worlds: Navigating the New Media Landscape ,” was published last week.