Has there been a shift in who we view as being ‘experts’?
I use the word ‘we’ in two different contexts. Firstly in an industry context. A blog I wrote for Adviser Lounge ended up in Financial Adviser here. Now, I don’t really mind this, even though neither myself nor Adviser Lounge were asked first (which would have been polite). But it did make me wonder, with so many of us blogging, who is the expert and who is the journalist these days? Who has the authority to write with knowledge and insight on industry issues?
I suppose it comes down to what people want to read. Market forces will apply themselves. Perhaps in the future people will continue to read trade press for product launches, news on executives moving jobs, and ‘industry figures’ offering their latest opinion (i.e. news), but read sites like Adviser Lounge for debate, opinion and knowledge sharing.
The second use of the word ‘we’ is the general public. A piece in the Daily Mail recently seemed remarkably similar to a blog I wrote for Adviser Lounge. Compare and contrast my pensions blog with the Daily Mail piece and make your own mind up where they got their ideas from.
It seems to me that this rather begs the question, what actually is the press these days? Can you only be part of the press if you are paid as a journalist? Compare the blogs on Adviser Lounge (including my own) with articles in Financial Adviser. Writing pithy articles is not easy, a skilled journalist can really sum up a situation in a few well crafted words.
And yet that is not enough these days. I want insightful, thought provoking articles. Ideas, debate, discussion. The immediacy of blogs is one factor, but the bottom line is that when I choose what I want to read online, I am happy to make a trade off between the ability to write well and an interesting idea.
So keep the articles and comments coming, you lot. And if you are a journalist and someone writes something you think would appeal to your readership, engage with the author. The combination of your writing skills and their knowledge should be a winning combination!