Thursday, 1 March 2012

The curious tale of the three little pigs, the big bad wolf, and the nature of modern journalism

The Guardian's '3 Pigs' has become a viral sensation. No one worth their weight in tweets could have missed it and Facebook is sharing the link like there's no tomorrow.

What is it about this video that we find so poignant? In just 121 seconds this video manages to touch on almost every issue surrounding British culture at the moment. The transformation of the way news is delivered and spread, the public's distrust in traditional news mediums, the nation's desperate desire to blame the government for the tragedies in society and, of course, our insatiable desire for controversy.

This classic fable has been turned into a media whirlwind as people from all around the country post 140 character opinions on a complex story and spark civil disobedience – and ultimately riots - calling for those who are truly responsible to take the blame for the desperate actions of those who have been left with nowhere to turn.

The Guardian made the video as part of a campaign promoting a partnership between the traditional media outlets and the citizen journalists and bloggers who contribute to the new form of interactive journalism. This is a concept which has always been embraced by the Guardian, whilst other media organisations seek to limit the interactivity of their publications with paywalls and disparities between the print and online versions.

The way in which this video has spread is better evidence than the content of the video itself to support the Guardian's vision. Journalism is no longer about consumers and publications, it is about an interaction and link between people from all parts of the world to create a free and uncensored press.

The three little pigs may not have benefited from a suspicious blogger investigating further into the case, and neither did the politicians who had to answer to the public outcry, but an open journalistic environment has one beneficiary – democracy. This is why I want to be a journalist, and it is why I couldn't think of a better time to do so.