David and Goliath

Today Dave Winer refers to me in a post about his relationship with the Guardian and a story Ben Hammersley wrote about RSS. Now I am not going to wade into the rights and wrongs of that one but it made me think again about the relationship between individuals and mainstream media. It is yet another example of where "the truth" becomes problematic as I have discussed elsewhere on this blog and where the might of old Media can almost look like a liability when it comes to credibility.

I have spent a good bit of the last week with Jem Stone from the BBC and we have been discussing, amongst other things, the relationship between the social web and "old" media.

During his presentation to BBC Marketing Jem talked about the John Sweeney/Panorama/YouTube story where the video made by The Church Of Scientology of the BBC journalist "losing it" during an interview with one of them initially stole a march on the Beeb in terms of managing the situation. Part of the reason for this was the institutional lag that BBC staff were labouring under when responding

We also talked about a Bobbie Johnson piece in The Guardian that was critical of BBC New Media and the iPlayer in particular. Jem feels strongly that that story has been slanted because only certain BBC staff, and certain ex-staff, have been writing about the story and that if more who are directly involved in the project had been blogging the impressions would have been more accurate. Again the perceived constraint of the institution on individuals.

It is fascinating to watch as the balance between individuals inside and those outside organisations shifts , in all sorts of ways, and the sense that we are building a new relationship with power is exciting.