Thursday, November 08, 2012

Journalism innovation Newsxchange and what's next?

David makes comparisons between 1920s and contemporary media with the Phantom Carriage, a 1920's Inception.

 By David Dunkley Gyimah. Connect with him on Google 

Next week it's the gathering of international journalists at NewsXchange, where the industry looks at what it's doing and how best in can improve on itself.

Journalism, if there was any doubt is a living and breathing commodity,  but really it's taken the Internet and new media practitioners to make this explicit.

I'm going to be a panelist with NHK debating innovation in journalism and it's an area I'm familiar with as a closet geek. I've been online since 1996 and more recently have been one of the judges for the UK's most prestigious innovation in television awards, The RTS ( Royal Television Society).

Last year that RTS for innovation went to Al Jazeera's The Source.  Last week in building a presentation for Danish journalists I have to say I was a little disappointed to see that improvements to the show have jettisoned the very on-the-go style that appealed to many of the jury.

Today it's all grown up, the playground's been taken over by the adults.

Video Play - Denmark

Timetable for videoplay in Denmark

Last week, I presented to Danish journalists in Denmark, closing a very popular 5-day conference that included:

  • Seth Gitner, Syracuse University US.
  • Ibrahim Hamdan, Al Jazeera, Qatar whose film: Images of the Revolution, about citizens recording extraordinary scenes in Egypt's  uprising is a must watch.
  • Mark Carlson, Associated Press, renown as an exceptional media maker
  • David Wright from National Geogaphic, UK whos embers were still smouldering long after he left.

I was asked to look at the future of videojournalism, which as it happens is part of my PhD research at University College Dublin, but something that I have been wading through as a videojournalist for  nearly 20 years and one of the first in the UK.

In my thesis I also contend, if you have experience of traditional news making; I started with te BBC in 1987, then that's hugely beneficial.

It was a 2 hour presentation, but frankly I could have spoken for four hours, but I am very grateful for the generosity and reception from delegates.

The essence of the presentation was to provide an overarching theory - based on the scrutiny of data I have collected from around the world, films such as this one Tahrir Memento, and interviews explaining where video story telling is going and why.


And it is this why, underpinned by philosophy and pragmatism, which I will aim to reflect at NewsXChange in Barcelona next week, though we'll be looking much broader into innovation.

Call it technological determinism, supervening necessity, or meaning-making through cognitivism, why is it somethings work and others don't?

The philosophy behind this depends on a myriad of social, cultural and historical factors and I explain change by mapping various external theories on the landscape to provide, above all,  robust reasons, than our flailing penchant for new suppositions.

Theory, as I have come to learn is more complex than what we think, theory is generated through, in my case, what's observed, supported with other theories to see if those observations can be discredited.

And on the many Masters in Journalism modules that I have taught, that is far more invaulable. That is understanding how to interpret the many complex signs that make up media.

See you in Barcelona.