Thursday, February 24, 2005

We Media one year on

Chris Willis and Shayne Bowman are interviewed about the reception We Media has received one year after publication:

"We Media" tries to define what many journalists and media executives have been sensing for sometime — the media world is shifting. What is the most unsettling thing for media professionals is not change but how the change is happening and where it is coming from. Change is not coming from traditional competitors but from the audience they serve. What could be more frightening? These changes have been growing in momentum for some years. Mainstream media now has to make the choice: Embrace their audience as true collaborators or try to save the existing business model.

What few journalists and executives understand is that their audience is motivated to work with them. People are seeking a more intimate relationship with their storytellers — those who help them make sense of the world. They are willing to become actively engaged in the news gathering process. For this effort, they are looking for something remarkably simple, inexpensive and, yet, impossible for many news organizations give in return: Trust.

In the coming years, news organizations will have to figure out how to become equal partners with their readers and viewers. They will have to become better listeners, rather than doing all the talking. They will be the ones being informed, rather than informing. That will be the change.

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