Bloggers write

"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Information Librarians

Journalism is about cataloging information. We find it, authenticate it and make it easily accessible to the public.

The information library is complicated. It has no walls. The books have minds of their own. They hide away, the cover can be misleading or wrong, and often you have to read between the lines to understand the full picture. Journalists work hard to use their networks to develop a catalog for the public.

Then the world wide web and user generated content arrived. Access to the web means the public have the potential to view the raw data before it has been verified and before it has been cataloged. They can even add stuff themselves. But they also attempt to navigate it themselves and like any amateur explorer, without the correct equipment or training, it is inevitable that they may become lost, sidetracked and the important information may get overlooked.

This where the journalist as an information librarian comes to the rescue. Not with the barrel of whiskey and a fluffy Saint Bernard but by guiding the library tourist through the important sites, maybe sometimes showing them where the pitfalls might be.

The journalist therefore has an ever increasing importance to develop respect and trust from their information tourist. The way to gain this trust is by allowing people to become part of the guiding experience, to be able to ask questions and to tailor the things we show them to meet their specific requirements. This could be through Have Your Say comments at the bottom of online articles or Related Article options on the side bar. Either way the media is certainly moving in the right direction so far.

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