Journalists must become “spaghetti throwers”, according to City University J-school head George Brock.
Speaking in his introduction to today’s news:rewired digital media conference, Brock told delegates and speakers from across the new media spectrum that revolutionising journalism was like “throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks”.
In a lively and entertaining opening to the day, he also expressed his desire to change his title to “professor of chaos history”, referencing not only the current seismic media revolutions, but those of years gone by.
“News media is quite regularly turned upside-down by changes in society, politics and economics. The downside of news revolutions such as this one is the massive loss of jobs, but the upside is that people begin to ask big, basic questions about the nature of journalism.”
These big, basic questions, Brock believes, are what drive the news media revolution and allow media businesses large and small to adapt and evolve. He also emphasised the importance of journalism educators adapting equally fast, taking the opportunity to reveal new journalism MAs at City University specialising in entrepreneurial and financial journalism.
The former Times international editor also expressed optimism for the future of conferences like news:rewired, reminding the audience and speakers that they are the very people who are driving the media revolution and coming up with the solutions to the biggest questions that it raises.
Brock’s comments were well received by the sell-out crowd, roughly a quarter of which were toting laptops, with many more furiously tapping iPhones and blackberries.