Intelligent design or natural selection – Three little pigs and the church of open journalism

Is the new Guardian view of journalism really what people want

The Guardian’s Three little pigs ad campaign is getting a lot of press at the moment.It makes me feel a little uncomforatble if I’m honest. It seems to present a news organisation doing campaigning journalism on the fly rather than on principle. But maybe trying to glean the depth of the idea from this ad is a bit like studying history by only using Michael Bay films…

Whatever their motivation, Paul Bradshaw thinks it’s a touchstone for  How journalism has changed :

It’s an image of journalism utterly different from how it presented itself in the 20th century, different – if we’re honest – from the image in most journalists’, and most journalism students’, minds.

I agree and it’s the inherent challenge that it presents that is both interesting and scary. It doesn’t neceserrily challenge how we do things but why. This is an idealogical standpoint.

In that sense I can’t help but think of the whole intelligent design Vs natutral selection debate. As Paul suggests maybe this is a big challenge to the way we ‘believe’ things work as much as they really work.

I’m not sure which side the the Guardian fall on here. There is a certain evangelical zeal to the way some people are trumpeting this and though Rusbridiger may be more Church of England vicar than glossy evangelical preacher, he’s preaching the new stuff hard.

But If this represents a different belief in the way journalism should be done, its only to a certain group. Some will still be unconvinced, perhaps even more bullish and entrenched in the face of the idea.

I desperately want to believe that this is natural selection – the new order creating new ways of doing things. But if it’s not…well, maybe, I could be persuaded to visit the church of ‘open journalism’, after all they have great looking commercials. But parables and fairly tales will only take me so far.  I’ll be waiting for the proof.


8 Replies to “Intelligent design or natural selection – Three little pigs and the church of open journalism”

  1. It must have cost a shedload to make this ad, at a time the Graun is laying folk off and still losing £60 million or so per year. Hmmm….

    I “get” the open journalism thing – – as I’m sure most Graun hacks do, but do you need to make a song and dance about it? It’s just one way of doing things these days. Not sure we need an advert for that. What’s the ad selling anyway? A concept?

    At the same time they’re running this newsdesk live effort –

    It’s very 2005.

    It’s fine to be opening up the editorial doors with your funky, free, vaguely journalistic concepts, but really, who gets up in the morning and runs to their ipad to check out… newsdesk live?

    I mean look at the amount of effort to write (and keep updated) a single blog post and the kind of comments they get:

    Or indeed, no comments at all

    or, what it’ll no doubt end up being – a bored, nutter magnet

    If they’ve got any sense, it’ll quietly disappear within one year when they all realise what a waste of time it is. Couldn’t the newsdesk live folk be doing something more productive, like I dunno, journalism?

    1. I agree with all of that. It’s got some real practical issues. I also worry that the slightly shifting agenda that an audience will set could leave them at risk of inconstancies. I don’t think it’ll go away though. The idea is such a broad and nebulous one that it’s easy to apply it to anything they do from adding a comment to weekend retreats for the London Guardian readers.

  2. Have you ever read a book by George Orwell entitled “1984”? He wrote his pessimistic view of the future in 1948. This is the book that gave us Big Brother, the idea of constant surveillance, and a model society based on strict conformity. Among the tools developed to promote conformity, Orwell’s society invented Newspeak, where words are redefined to meet the draconian social order.

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