Guardian TV ad introduces a concept of ‘open journalism’

Under the headline Brave new dystopia on the Guardian website today I expected to find the news organisation’s advert which was shown on TV for the first time last night. Instead it is a series of animated drawings imagining England along the route of a high speed rail line. Another innovative approach but not what I was looking for.


The two minute tv ad starts with the three little pigs being violently seized by robocops. As the story develops tweeters and bloggers get to work alongside journalists to question and uncover the full story. Welcome to the Guardian’s open journalism.


The images are striking. The pace fast. This is a a newspaper preparing for a world without print. A world in which journalism becomes a networked activity.


Editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger writes:

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.

The concept of open journalism is different. Ian Katz, the head of news, explains it well on a video in which he describes changes in the way in which stories are got and told.


The Online Journalism Blog says of the advert:

It’s an image of journalism utterly different from how it presented itself in the 20th century, different – if we’re honest – from the image in most journalists’, and most journalism students’, minds.

Over the past year of blogging I have watch this fresh approach as it develops. Most journalist now watch blogs and tweets as news sources and the blogger can often see how what they have written influence coverage.


But the Guradian’s approach has been different, “more open” is a good way of putting it.

As stories of turmoil at the top of Suffolk County Council and the campaign to keep libraries open developed, the Guardian was not only using our material but acknowledging the source, quoting posts and sending readers to us.

While most news organisations make their websites as sticky as possible the Guardian has been acting more like a part of a network.

The ultimate aim (many years down the line) appears to be to make online journalism financially stable without print. It is a brave new world of journalism they are seeking.

There is more about what open journalism means to the Guardian and the TV ad here.

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