“Authenticity has replaced Authority”


That was one of the takeaways from a panel at the Web Summit conference, where Storyful chief exec Mark Little said, “Social media has proved to us that the breaking news model is broken for good. It’s broken as a concept.”

“As a business, it’s a really good business. But the concept that you, with the flashing ‘breaking news’ on the screen are going to be the first to break something is completely bullshit, because someone out there has witnessed it.”

“The key thing for us is to find the first piece of content that will define a story: the video, the tweet… we have 40 journalists looking in real-time for the original source,” he said.  “For us the most important thing is who’s the person on the ground with the camera-phone standing there right now.. Authenticity has replaced authority as the new currency of this environment.”

It’s worth reading this Guardian piece which underlines many of the themes we have been discussing, including the bypassing of traditional news organizations, the overabundance of content and the role of journalists as filters.

Our guest on Monday will be Petra Bartosiewicz, so please do the following before class:

1) Listen to her This American Life “The Arms Trader”

2) Read one of her Harper’s Pieces, here or here.

3) Read her LA Times Editorial, “A Permanent War on Terror”

4) Draft three questions for her.

Have a nice weekend!




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