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The Guardian launches ‘Open Journalism’

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 1st March 2012

Following an event at Social Media Week last month, I wrote a few posts lamenting the fact that traditional media seems to be failing to adapt to the new possibilities that exist with digital.

The Guardian is one traditional publisher that at least seems to be trying to move with the times. And last night the company aired a two minute advert on Channel 4 (no surprise during 10 O’Clock Live) that you can see here.

The advert is a tongue and cheek look at the difficulties that traditional media organisations face today with 24 hour rolling news, citizen journalists and the social backchannel. It’s also a nice example of how media companies can respond to this challenge and embrace it.

The Guardian calls it ‘open journalism’.

Editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger explains: “The newspaper is moving beyond a newspaper. Journalists are finding they can give the whole picture better. Over a year the readership grows – a little in print, vastly in digital. Advertisers like it, too. This is what we mean by open.”

This is a new way of sourcing stories and a new way of making the most of digital channels to create diverse forms of content.

A familiar story

Now for those of us working in the media industry (whatever that means these days), none of this will be surprising. Especially for marketers and PRs who are now used to content-focused campaigns. Gone are the days when a simple press release would do the job. Now any announcement or campaign needs more content to properly succeed.

Social objects such as video, graphics and pictures offer new ways to reach audiences. I’m surprised that more media organisations haven’t tapped into this sooner as the web (and the mobile web in particular) offers new ways to share information and engage with audiences.

This is a new frontier for marketers and journalists alike.