What’s journalism’s future? Does it have a future at all?
For the last four days, a very mixed bag of veteran journos, aspiring freelancers, impoverished writers, students, film makers, trouble makers and even the odd academic have been meeting at the Storyology conference in Sydney, trying to work out where journalism is heading. Talk was seasoned by the knowledge that even some of the more famous, who came along to chair sessions, had recently found themselves going nowhere; redundant as a digital tsunami rolled through their mainstream media. So much of the conference buzz was really about “How do I make a living?”, in a world where tech nerd start ups were eclipsing century old newspaper mastheads.
They were told to learn, evolve and take control.
Thailand’s media may look modern and espouse free speech but its hedged by self censorship and hemmed by traditional values. Vorani Vanijaka, the Editor of Thailand’s GQ, is keenly aware of the contradictions.
He’s a former political commentator, who has managed to offend many of Thailand’s elite. “You can criticise anyone from the Prime Minister down, which is something you can’t do in most southeast Asian countries” he said. Thailand boasted of a sophisticated and pervasive media, including the million circulation Thai Rath newspaper, national television networks and hundreds of radio stations.
But there were unstated limits on what Thai journalists reported.
Investigative journalism takes money, time and skill. If you listened to your accountant, you would never do it.
Aniruddah Bahal is the founder and editor in chief of CobraPost, a non profit Indian Investigative journalism website. He was in Sydney to speak at the Storyology conference organised by the Walkley Foundation.
We try to expose stories about political corruption and religious misconduct. We want to bring accountability in our system and deepen democracy. In India, we have a lot of wasteful spending. If we can do stories pulling up organisations or people for having misspent resources, we can go a long way benefiting the Indian economy.
Journalism is society’s disinfectant, according to Kevin Davis. Davis describes himself as a former entertainment journalist who found his old job neither entertaining nor newsworthy. “If we are to remain a free people, then we [journalists] must keep power at bay,” he said.
“We do the sort of accountability journalism the commercials aren’t interested in,” Davis said. More…