Emily Bell

Emily Bell has made a huge impact to journalism and she has pioneered many ways that we digital reach out to audiences. Without her, journalism wouldn’t be the way it has recently changed.

Bell is the director of the Tow Centre for digital journalism at Columbia Journalism School. She started her career working for the Big Farm Weekly, then she went on to work for the Observer and the Guardian. Emily Bell worked for the Guardian for 20 years, she set up mediaguardian.co.uk in 2000, became editor-in-chief of Guardian Unlimited in 2001 and was promoted to the new position of the Guardian online in September 2006.

The most influential thing Emily Bell has done is pioneer open journalism. This involved:

  • people becoming more involved in journalism and contributing, making people more than just consumers
  • digital engagement i.e different online storytelling techniques such as live blogging and interaction through social media
  • creation of a two-way relationship between readers and the media
  • the Comment is Free section in the Guardian, which lets people write their own stories for the site

Recently a debate formed around adblocking, when John Whittingdale  announced his views at the Oxford Media Convention. Emily Bell then expressed her views on www.theguardian.com/media/2016/mar/06/adblocking-control-publishers-mobile-web-access. My view on adblocking is that it could damage the news industry. However if consumers want to avoid the news, then publishers should offer alternative sites to pay for which are ad free. Some media organisations are already doing this which is good because by doing so, it ensures you still gain revenue.


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