Smoothmedia Director is guest on BBC World Service

Filed under: Research

CNN's veteran Middle East editor Octavia Nasr was sacked after expressing her respect for the late Shi-ite cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Smoothmedia Director Chris Brauer was a guest in the BBC World Service studios in Bush House, London to discuss the context and ramifications.

There is plenty of background on this story and the online reaction so no need to rehash the details. Suffice to say it is an ideal issue to debate the evolving roles of objectivity and subjectivity for journalists in social media. Journalism is not changing in a vacuum and society and democracy may need many different forms of journalism. Chris' opinion is that Nasr made a bad tactical error (which she readily admits in her 4,400 character explanation of the 140 character tweet).

He suggests there are three primary lessons journalists can take away from Nasr' unfortunate experience:

  • Stop treating Twitter and other social networks as ‘back channels’
  • Recognise the appropriate context for nuance in reporting
  • Journalism is changing and some of the old rules simply don't apply anymore

Finally, it was a great experience joining World Have Your Say that features a brilliant format encouraging listeners to tweet, facebook, and text opinions live on the air.