I had an interesting conversation after a presentation by Gillian Shaw (twitter @gillianshaw) this evening. We got into a philosophical conversation about the relevance of newspapers and printed advertising in said newspapers in the growing era of social marketing. I questioned the relevance of advertising in this day and age, and the resulting loss of revenue would negate the need for reporters. Her response stopped me …

In this day of instant content, almost anyone who can spell correctly (and not always that) can create content in the spur of the moment. We have been trained to believe that whatever is in printed form is the truth, and these beliefs are being transferred to the electronic media. What Gillian reminded me is that reporters are trained to do backchecks to validate the credibility of the information, and expose as many sides of the story as possible.

So if one believes that social media means that the traditional newspaper is dead (as seems the to be the case in the US), then does all the journalistic integrity go away? In other words, what can the newspapers offer us beyond advertising that will incent the rest of us to read them?

I believe that one answer is the self-discipline and journalistic integrity that reporters are trained to do. Wouldn’t it be great if all of us that write blogs and otherwise create content could tap into that training?

Let me know what do you think at twitter.com/creativerevenue