NICK Jones, former BBC political correspondent, joined panellists Iain Dale and Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) at the Foregin Press Association yesterday, where the impact of new media on newsgathering and reporting was discussed.
Further to Dale’s comments on blogging and political journalism, Jones added that audio and video material appearing on newspaper websites is ’stretching journalism in the way it should be stretched’.
“Newspapers are making money out of video and audio. They are buying up exclusive material obtained in dubious circumstances - but it is getting good ratings,” said Jones.
Thanks to video evidence The Guardian, for example, was first with exclusives about police involvement in the death of G20 protestor Ian Tomlinson, he said.
“The Guardian was prepared to take risks the BBC would not have contemplated,” said Jones, who claimed the BBC would have had to apply a ‘whole host’ of tests to the video evidence.
The code for newspapers is much simpler, he suggested: “They just need to ask, is it in the public interest?”