Old media must embrace the amateur.

Clicking through my regular morning reads from my RSS feeds I came across this article 'Old Media Must Embrace The Amateur'  by Tom Glocer (head of Reuters), on the Financial Times. I have to say this is right along the discussion lines of a lunch we had yesterday with an 'Old Media' source.  Actually, I think these guys get it. Unlike some discussions we've had with local media outlets, there wasn't a 'circle-the-wagons' type mentality. Change is constant and if history teaches us anything, it's the folly of fixed defenses. Here are some of the more interesting snippits but the articles worth a read.

‘There were indications last year that a significant shift in the balance of power between professional content companies and home-based creators lay ahead….

It is important to understand what has changed. Bloggers, after all, have always been a part of history – read Daniel Defoe, Samuel Pepys or James Boswell. The same is true for citizen journalists: just check out first-hand accounts of any big historical event. The difference now is the scale of distribution and the ability to search. Because of this, we in the media industry face a profound challenge, as significant and transformational as Internet 1.0. So how should we respond to and control content fragmentation in this era of two-way flow?…

First, media companies need to be “seeders of clouds”. To have access to high-value new content, we need to attract a community around us…

Second, we need to be “the provider of tools”. This means promoting open standards and interoperability, which will allow a diverse set of consumer-creators to combine disparate types of content….

Third, we must improve on our skills as the “filter and editor”…

In the news industry, professional and “amateur” content combined creates a better product. It tells the story at a deeper level….

You have to be open to both amateur and professional content to tell the story completely. I believe that professional articles and photographs, if available, will generally be authoritative. But, in the first instance, they can be complemented by content created by amateurs….

We are now at our crossroads. Old media – and I now would include the first wave of online publishing – have a choice: integrate the new world or risk becoming less relevant.’