Sill discusses paper on open journalism at Director's Forum

Former executive-in-residence Melanie Sill

Melanie Sill, former executive-in-residence at USC Annenberg, discussed her new paper “The Case for Open Journalism Now: A new framework for informing communities” during the Jan. 24 Journalism Director’s Forum.

Her paper emphasized the changing aspect of journalism with the abundance of online news.

“The cycle of how people get information has been reconfigured because of technology,” Sill said.

Sill used the UC Davis pepper spraying incident as an example of how news coverage is done differently now. The mistake of the campus police officer spraying students circulated almost instantaneously around the Web.

“I don’t think anyone can tell you who broke this story about the UC Davis pepper spray. Not one news organization can say that they own this story,” Sill said.

She described the change as “Open Journalism,” an approach toward journalism that includes reporting from both professional and citizen journalists that emphasizes on transparency, accountability and reciprocity.

Ultimately, open journalism is the concept that news outlets and sources are interconnected through the Web, which equates to necessary changes in the field of journalism.

“As journalists, we should go where the people are and not expect them to come to where we are,” Sill said.