“it must be that journalism has a role now in creating non-surveilled spaces”

Emily Bell, Professorin am Tow Center für Digitalen Journalismus an der New Yorker Columbia Journalism School, hat am Reuters Institute in Oxford eine Rede gehalten, die den Status Quo des Journalismus und der Öffentlichkeit (vor allem in den USA) in aller Nüchternheit beschreibt. Besonders interessant ihre Quintessenz, die sie von Ethan Zuckerman übernommen hat: If the leaks of Edward Snowden taught us anything, it must be that journalism has a role now in creating non-surveilled spaces.

Die Aufgabe scheint also ebenso klar wie kompliziert: Integriert das Kommentariat, statt es auszuschließen; akzeptiert die neue Rolle des Publikums als so genannte Fünfte Gewalt; nutzt die Kommunikationstechnologien, statt sie zu verdammen; macht Kundendaten nicht zu Geld - und setzt euch nicht zuletzt für die Abschaffung des Listenprivilegs ein.

The press is no longer in charge of the free press and has lost control of the main conduits through which stories reach audiences. The public sphere is now operated by a small number of private companies, based in Silicon Valley. (…)

Professional journalism is augmented by untold numbers of citizen journalists who now break news, add context and report through social platforms. To have our free speech standards, our reporting tools and publishing rules set by unaccountable software companies is a defining issue not just for journalism but the whole of society.

I am not going to argue that this is a reversible trend. It isn’t. But I am going to argue that journalism has an important role in building and deploying new technologies, shaping non-commercial parts of a new public sphere and holding to account these new extensive systems of power. (…)

Engineers who rarely think about journalism or cultural impact or democratic responsibility are making decisions every day that shape how news is created and disseminated.

In creating these amazingly easy-to-use tools, in encouraging the world to publish, the platform technologies now have a social purpose and responsibility far beyond their original intent. Legacy media did not understand what it was losing, Silicon Valley did not understand what it was creating.
(…)

The most vivid example of the friction between the new platforms and the traditional role of the press sits of course in the remarkable set of stories published by Alan Rusbridger and his team. We saw through the excellent work of the Guardian and others on the NSA leaks brought to light by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that the tools we use for journalism - Gmail, Skype, social media - are already fatally compromised by being part of a surveillance state. (…)

This week Ethan Zuckerman, who directs the Civic Media Lab at MIT delivered a very thought provoking talk at the Tow Center as part of a series we have called ‘Journalism After Snowden’ where he argued persuasively that if the leaks of Edward Snowden taught us anything, it must be that journalism has a role now in creating non-surveilled spaces.


 
 
 

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