What is ‘open journalism’?
Britain’s Guardian newspaper strongly supports open journalism. The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, wants to engage readers and users. He wants to integrate their knowledge, skills and opinions into the reporting.
Rusbridger’s philosophy is that “journalists are not the only experts in the world.”
In a recent online chat, Alan Rusbridger explained how he understands open journalism:
“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?”
In a video interview, Alan Rusbridger further explains how he sees journalism in the 21st century.
Below is a commercial for open journalism, which the Guardian produced. It imagines how the Guardian might cover the story of the three little pigs in print and online.