Do we really need journalists?
We don’t need journalists anymore. Who needs those annoying creatures on the street, on the city hall, on the archives, when information is now massive and can be found online? Who needs reporters when we can code smart efficient bots that are able to collect and present personalized data? We don’t need humans wasting their precious time looking for news, contrasting versions, building a balanced narrative: Machines can definitely perform better. Sooner than later, the name ‘reporter’ will be one more on the list of jobs that no longer exist, like milkmen, ice cutters or lamp lighters…
Have you heard that apocalyptical discourse before? I’m tired of it. Yes, we can now build informative bots, yes, the traditional media model is becoming obsolete, yes, there are amazing technologies that can optimize the process of news production, but that doesn’t mean that reporters are an endangered species.
We do need journalists that help citizens understand their rights, journalists that hold public officials accountable, we need journalists that take the time to digest the tons of information that we’re producing every second and articulate them in a compelling narrative, we need journalists that understand how to engage with the public and that facilitate the creation of communities, journalists that experiment with digital languages and help people to discover new ways to see their reality.
I’m a proud journalist. I see my career as a way to change the perception of the world. Just as an artist, the journalist shape a new vision, propose an alternative reading. We create without making fiction. We can adapt ourselves to any context. Our job doesn’t depend on how well the media industry is doing: Our job depends on our ethics, on our commitment to our public service.
They can come with apocalyptical predictions, they can say that the game is over and that we need to start looking another job, but the truth is that nothing can replace a journalist, nothing can replace a good storyteller, someone who has the obsession to see and listen and feel the pulse of their age.
I’m not afraid of technology. It won’t take my job. If it does, I will tell the story and that will be my way to come back.