Among the traditional media, blogs and other contributions to citizen journalism have for a long time been regarded as posing a significant threat to 'quality' news reporting ... is this a valid view? What (if anything) can social media offer?
Among the traditional media, blogs and other contributions to citizen journalism have for a long time been regarded as posing a significant threat to 'quality' news reporting, whilst the global recession has shown that the threatened failure of high quality local and regional media outlets was not a groundless fear. Whilst some of the most successful social media sites are professional media productions such as CNN's Twitter news feed and the Huffington Post, many critics of social media now fear that the collapse of traditional business models will see a real decline in the depth and quality of news reporting, particularly at the local level. On the other hand, blogs and social media are seen as potentially democratising the production of news, enabling fast, first-hand reporting often in areas where traditional media face political restrictions. This panel session considers whether social media necessarily threaten traditional news media, and what, if anything they may have to offer in return. This is part of a series of recordings from the OII's Oxford Social Media Convention, held at the University of Oxford on 18 September 2009.