Back to basics

Raghida Dergham, columnist and senior diplomatic correspondent for the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat, spoke recently about her experience as a female, arab journalist. In among the big name reminiscences and Davos schmoozing come some insights into the current state of journalism,

This a “very confused time in journalism”… we need to hang on to the “good old tools of journalism” because we are in a very tumultuous time. “Journalism is way too important to leave in the hands of non-professionals”… So how do you arrive at a professional media? She asked rhetorically. Just one way – “go back to basics” and separate out reporting, editorial, analysis, so that they are separate. The roots are in the laws. link

What with citizen journalism, networked journalism, crowd sourcing, social media, multimedia journalism, integration and whatever next week’s buzzword might be it’s harder than ever to stay focussed on the core job. Something that The Guardian’s David Leigh called Slow Journalism in a recent lecture at City University in London,

You can get junk food on every high street. And you can get junk journalism nowadays in every outlet there is. But just as there is now a movement for Slow Cooking, I should also like to see more of a demand for Slow Journalism.
Slow Journalism would show greater respect for the craft of the reporter – a patient assembler of facts. A skilled tradesman who is independent and professionally reputable. And who can get paid the rate for the job. A disentangler of lies and weasel words. Don’t you think such people are useful operatives to probe the dodgy mechanisms of our imperfect democracy, and our very imperfect world? I do. full speech pdf link – via Sambrook