Explanation of ‘open journalism’ principles from Alan Rusbridger, covers important areas where the digital realm offers news organisations and the public in terms of transparency, participation and collaboration:
What exactly do you mean by “open journalism”? What is the “closed journalism” to which it is presumably the antidote?
Alan Rusbridger replies:
Open journalism is journalism which is fully knitted into the web of information that exists in the world today. It links to it; sifts and filters it; collaborates with it and generally uses the ability of anyone to publish and share material to give a better account of the world.
A year or so ago, when we were trying to work out how journalism should change, we jotted down 10 principles of open journalism (obviously you can stick a “not” in any of the sentences to see what closed journalism looks like).
Here they are:
- It encourages participation. It invites and/or allows a response
- It is not an inert, “us” or “them”, form of publishing
- It encourages others to initiate debate, publish material or make suggestions. We can follow, as well as lead. We can involve others in the pre-publication processes
- It helps form communities of joint interest around subjects, issues or individuals
- It is open to the web and is part of it. It links to, and collaborates with, other material (including services) on the web
- It aggregates and/or curates the work of others
- It recognizes that journalists are not the only voices of authority, expertise and interest
- It aspires to achieve, and reflect, diversity as well as promoting shared values
- It recognizes that publishing can be the beginning of the journalistic process rather than the end
- It is transparent and open to challenge – including correction, clarification and addition
I think they’re pretty good principles. What do you think?