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Updated: March 20, 2013 02:43 IST

Rusbridger: people’s dependency on scribes reduced

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Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, at the Press Club in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre
The Hindu
Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, at the Press Club in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre

“They are not the sole experts on issues”

The open platform that the Digital Age has provided to the people has turned thousands of those who use even a single mobile phone into a journalist, said Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of the widely read British newspaper and website The Guardian.

“The dependency of people, organisations, NGOs on journalists to tell their stories to others has been greatly reduced in this Digital Age. Every person who holds a Twitter account or even a mobile phone can go out telling a story, turning into a journalist. The future of print journalism lies in accepting the importance of Digital Age,” said Mr. Rusbridger. He was speaking at the special programme held by the Mumbai Press Club on “The Future of Journalism in a Digital Age.”

Sharing a number of experiences of reporters of The Guardian in the extensive use of the Internet to acquire information, understand issues and even to create sources, he said the notion that a journalist was the sole expert of any issue was rapidly becoming redundant.

“Claiming that out of 900 people who watch a particular drama, it is only a journalist who can write better than others is an overstatement. The transition from a mere publisher of a story to a platform giving better inputs by involving larger audience will also bring money with it.”

Explaining the present scenario of the print industry in western world, Mr. Rusbridger said that unlike in India, the industry was suffering a 10 per cent annual decline in revenues for the past 15 years. “In such a scenario, becoming brave, aggressive and smarter than others in the use of digital technology is the only way to survive,” he said.

“In India, however, the desperate situation which western print media is facing hasn’t yet arrived. But in the next two decades, a similar situation will surely hit India, when digital technology will be the only possible remedy,” he said.

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