Bill Kovach dixit

Bill Kovach esteve esta manhã na Universidade do Minho, no âmbito das X Jornadas do GACSUM.
Aqui ficam alguns excertos da sua conferência (que, por iniciativa própria, se transformou numa conversa com a plateia):

Democracy and the Press were born together and will live or die together.

The question we must constantly ask ourselves: what is it that separates journalism from other forms of communication and why should the public give a damn whether journalism survives or not?

The Internet must bring about a new kind of journalism in form but not in content. Verification, selection of information to fit the publics needs, the absolute allegiance to the truth, independence of every known power – this is what what makes journalism worth to the community.

The information flow is so enormous. There is no real way of recognising what is the best approximation of the truth. Wikipedia is the ultimate example. We have knowledge, but we have problems with verification.
Our answer would be that as long as you develop your information by an objective process (don’t get hang up on objectivity as a personal characteristic) and consistently present it in the most transparent form possible journalism will remain relevant.

You have to believe in what you are doing. It takes a commitment. If you go into journalism because you want to get rich forget about it. Satisfaction has to come from the job (the service) you are doing to others.
I really believe that the internet offers hope to smaller organisations to do their work. The potential for Portuguese media – if the spread of the language and culture is considered – is very significant.

Stereotyping is one of the most damaging and destructive things we do. It is the thing that brought me into journalism. One of the first stories I got up involved in was related to the beginning of the civil rights movements. It made me think about what I believed in and what I though of other human beings. The ability to cover that story, the ability to get beyond the surface of what most people saw was what brought me to journalism.

The new technology allows for the existence of a new relationship – so lets find out about this together. Yes, there is no other way. We need to know our audiences much better; what their interests are but also what specific knowledge they have; what they know that is special.

My definition of journalism has changed enormously over the years. But I was fortunate enough to have great mentors. I learned a lot about journalism with the people I have interviewed – I learned form the people who used journalism to assert their rights, to have a voice.
I always saw journalism as ‘theirs’ and not ‘mine’. And that was always what got me in trouble with the ‘business’.
When I first became an editor I began to see a more complex side of the equation – we have to work out an accommodation between the public responsibility of the job and economic survival.
But the business side of journalism can only exist if journalism maintains what makes it distinctive – quality.
Good public interest journalism is economically better for the company than celebrity, murder, scandal reporting.

Obrigado ao Victor Ferreira pela foto de Bill Kovach.
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