#newsrw: Keynote speaker Peter Bale kicks off news:rewired

Keynote speaker Peter Bale has kicked off the news:rewired conference today, and urges journalists not to underestimate the long-term impact of new technologies.

Bale, who is executive producer for MSN UK said the changing world of online journalism is a challenge for everyone.

We are all in the same boat. This is the most dynamic period in the media imaginable and we are racing to keep up. It is incredibly exciting.

He told the conference MSN has experienced a dramatic expansion of readers interested in hard news, which they are trying to support with a range of outlets, such as Press Association, Reuters and Bing.

He also shared examples of the new technology MSN is using to tell stories.

This included Photosynth, providing multiple photographs to create greater user experiences and Deep Zoom, which creates interactive collages, used recently to report on Michael Jackson’s life in pictures.

It’s not just a real estate site with a camera. You can use these tools to tell a rich story. This is available to any journalist in the room. The days of being average and not using multimedia to be incredibly skilled in what you do are over.

He illustrated the importance for young journalists to build their own brand online, by referring to the work of Josh Halliday, Jemima Kiss, Robert Andrews and Will Perrin.

They cannot hide behind the brand we always have in the past. Its all about them and what they have got to say.

He closed by announcing the launch of an MSN code of conduct on the company’s site today.

This is a public statement of what we want to do in journalism. Proper journalism organisations always have these. It is about being authentic, being straight up with our news and showing the obligations our users can expect us to meet.

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