Let the masses through the media gates

The Guardian editor has a vision for a viable, media future:

[Alan] Rusbridger also laid out his vision of what he called “mutualised news,” which he said would “take down the walls” of traditional media companies by distributing information through new means such as social networking site Twitter and by asking the public to get involved through experiments such as “crowd sourcing”, used by the Guardian to help with its investigation into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests.

“It was a piece of conventional reporting and tapping into the resources of a crowd,” he said. “There are thousands of reporters in any crowd nowadays. There was nothing to stop people from publishing those pictures but it needed the apparatus of a mainstream news organisation for that to cut through and have impact.”

He added: “What I like about idea of mutualised news is it gets over the concept of us versus them. It is us and them. It blurs the line between journalists and reader. It is much more diverse and plural than a conventional newspaper. It gives us a huge extensive resource.”

Rusbridger denied it would be the end of conventional journalism, saying that trained journalists and the public could work together, adding it was “futile” to deny that “something interesting and exciting is going on here.”

“There are many things that mainstream media do which in collaboration with others is still really important. The ability to take a large audience and amplify things and to give more weight to what would [otherwise] be fragments. Somebody has to have the job of pulling it all together.”