Web journalism means relationships, loyalty, engagement: Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis

American journalist, professor, public speaker and an avid advocate of the Open Web, Jeff Jarvis, believes that journalism on Internet is slowly becoming a yardstick to measure relationships, loyalty, engagement and value.

"And good relationships mean good business,'' Jarvis told senior editors of The Indian Express and students of the Express Institute of Media Studies at a recent interaction in Delhi.

Jarvis touched upon various topic from the 'business' of journalism, to the importance of technology, to even whether Google can turn on us. "But why should it,'' said the professor.

Jarvis describes himself as an 'entrepreneural journalist'. "When I was a young journalist, I was asked to keep away from business. We became irresponsible stewards of the business. I wanted to teach my students how the business of journalism worked,'' Jarvis said.

Jarvis added: "Eighteen years after the advent of the commercial web, newspapers in US are still struggling to figure out what to do with it. India has the huge opportunity to leapfrog the web world... you can re-imagine and rethink news based on, say, devices like phones.''

Jarvis said, "Measuring website popularity by unique views is shallow. It is important to measure relationships, loyalty, engagement and value."

Jarvis said that journalism on the Net should no longer be the one-way traffic that it is at present. Editors upload their stories and their work is done. They expect the Netizen to react to it. Dirty comments often pour in as a result.

"But is that the kind of Internet we want?'' Jarvis asks. He feels the dialogue between the editor and the reader should be that of collaboration and increased engagement.

Can Google turn on us?

The business of journalism

When we first joined journalism, we were told to stay away from business. It was evil and corrupted. That meant we didn't know anything of the business. The U.S. Today is a mess because journalists didn't know the business. I teach students how the business of journalism works. The influence of the Internet will be universal even though the situation in India is different from the U.S. where newspapers are floundering.

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