So what does open journalism look like? A man dies at the heart of a protest: a reporter wants to discover the truth. A journalist is seeking to contact anyone who can explain how another victim died while being restrained on a plane. A newsroom has to digest 400,000 official documents released simultaneously. The travel section is searching for a thousand people who know Berlin like the back of their hand. The environment team is seeking to expand the range, authority and depth of their coverage. The foreign desk wants to harness as many Arab voices as possible to help report and explain the spring revolutions. The sports editor is wondering how best to cover every one of the 32 national football teams in the World Cup. The comment editors would like to broaden the spectrum of debate to include political thinkers scientists, theologians, lawyers … and numerous others in society and around the world whose voice is not always heard. A city trader in New York realises he's captured on film the moment the police struck a news seller in the middle of a crowd. A woman leaving a theatre is moved to write about her response to the play she's just seen. A dozen scientific bloggers group together to reach a much larger audience. A nurse wants to share her perspective of the NHS changes. The technology team work out the best way for a newspaper's content to be shared, distributed and connected as easily as possible and build a piece of open software to make it happen. The developers at cutting edge outfits, small and giant, like that: it means they can easily incorporate that output into the platforms, products and devices they are building. The newspaper is moving beyond a newspaper. Journalists are finding they can give the whole picture better. Over a year the readership grows – a little in print, vastly in digital. Advertisers like it, too. This is what we mean by open. The newspaper is the Guardian
Pitch Work for the Guardian BBH/London All readers and love the Guardian In recent years, the editor of the Guardian has been changing how the paper sources (curates) and delivers (technology/tablets/social) news. They’ve been trying to communicate it but failed to explain what Open Journalism actually meant.
We started by trying to figure out what Open meant to us: --how we read --when we read --where else we accessed content from the paper We figured out that the differentiator of Open was a “broad perspective.” It wasn’t simply the how – curating, sourcing, welcoming conversation – but the what that came out of the process. The “what” being the impact and the perspective that can only be achieved through such a complete process across so many sources.
7 teams 30 scripts All different ways of demonstrating Open A very young creative team (20-somethings) came up with idea
What if Guardian had covered the ________ “today?”
Initial ideas and topics for demonstration were wrong. To imply that the paper could have changed the outcome of history was way too pretentious. And might be the wrong things to exaggerate. But he had an idea. Pick a different story.
The team came back with a fairy tale and a headline. Just a headline.
Big bad wolf boiled alive.
CD’s suggestion was, “Great, but make it not a metaphor, but an allegory. Give it a relevance to current times.” Ah, the homeowner’s struggle against the banks.
That was it. That was the whole idea. “I now started to see the entire spot complete and finished in my head.” David Kolbusz, CD BBH-London
Not easy to completely sell the spot, even though it was favorite of client. There were no visual references during this point. Just the concept. The narrative flow, like a movie script. The headlines, tweets and the story. The pictures lived only in the imagination. Client could never imagine what the pigs would actually look like.
Answer: “Just imagine it as if the pigs walk among us.”
Agency knew all along that this was the idea. So, why so many ideas?
“We had to show what was wrong and incomplete in order to prove what was right.”
CD CW/AD Producer Director Editor SFX Client
The brand itself is social. And open. --Curating content from multiple sources --Accommodating the participation of readers and outside voices --Celebrating and inviting participation to create that broader, inclusive perspective
"We are developing an idea of a newspaper that is very different," says Rusbridger. "Our approach recognises the importance of putting a newspaper at the heart of the open eco-structure of information so that you can then harness different voices and link to an array of other sources. "We are reaping the rewards for breaking out of the old mindset of journalism and understanding that we can harness, aggregate, curate and report, which is a distributive model of journalism that has a richness and diversity of content."
“This change has been driven by Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian’s editor and is built on a belief that in the modern world no single organisation can possibly claim to be sole arbiter of truth, with experts journalists working in isolation to pass down the day’s news to the masses. Instead, for The Guardian, modern news is a dynamic, participative and open dialogue in which the public and other news sources enrich and expand stories, inviting response and opinion. It’s open and mutual rather than closed and didactic. It’s iterative and alive rather than final and definitive. It’s multi- platform and digital first.” from BBH-Labs blog
“Whilst most newspapers jealously guard the stories they are planning to cover, The Guardian now publish their news lists online daily, encouraging both public and experts to get in touch with their journalists if they feel the have something to contribute, advise on or just to have their say. When the MPs Expenses Scandal exploded, The Guardian swiftly built an app that enabled the public to get involved, sift through receipts and flag anything they decided was worthy of investigation. During Arab Spring, in addition to providing content from its journalists in the field, The Guardian invited Arab commentators to share their views and blog, in Arabic, on the Guardian’s platform. The Guardian’s open platform enables anyone to access data collected by the Guardian as well as providing a search tool so that users can search for government information from around the world. It also encourages readers to upload their own data visualisations or share their favourites.” from BBH-Labs blog
“Comment is free, but facts are sacred.” Editor CP Scott, 1921
Lessons that marketers can take away from the Guardian. What is the job of the brand? How is the consumer viewed (and engaged)? What other participants are there, could there be? How do they/can they work together? What is the role of technology? Talk about time, timeliness and timing. What are the connections between brand behavior, content and media? What is there “creativity?” (entertainment, utility, context)