Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Toronto Emergency Management Symposium, Take 2

In the afternoon, there was a session on the impact of new tools (social media among them) on the media ... We had reporters/editors from key media outlets in Toronto ... one each from print, radio and TV.

I found it very interesting that they were a bit dismissive of the news gathering and informative aspects of social media ... they even suggested that emergency management and first responders organizations only accredit members of traditional media and not bloggers and the such ... stating lack of professional standards and ethics ...

They obviously overlook the major impact that some bloggers and online writers have in very specific domains, some of them have thousands and tens of thousands readers ... some of them are acknowledged as very credible and are sought after by traditional media and corporations about whose products they write about ...

I thought I was hearing the last roars of dinosaurs !!!

As a former reporter (nearly 10 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada) ... I can tell you that there is generally a high level of ethical conduct in most Canadian media outlets but by the same token, everyone these days is subject to the "Get it First" ... mentality where "getting it right" is often a secondary consideration in tough media markets ... where conglomerates squeeze the last ounce out of any newsroom.

So as far as ethics go ... mainstream media don't have that solid a leg to stand on ... I found their position very surprising because more and more traditional media themselves are using social media platforms as KEY sources of information and news gathering elements... more than a few report what's being posted on social media sites WITHOUT verification ...

Again ... that kind of exchange made this first day of the symposium a very interesting and successful proposition ... I'll write about the second day tomorrow evening ... until then, your comments and opinions are welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Really appreciated your observations and look forward to your day 2 comments. Emergency management / crisis management, like many others have not yet figured out how to use social media effectively. It should be viewed both as a potential threat and a resource. Also it is relatively new and procedures on how to deal with it effectively are not well understood. I hope some guidance on this can be included in the annex material of the second edition of the CSA Z1600 emergency management standard.