The difference between content and journalism is more important — and more profound — than it may sound, according to INMA Researcher-in-Residence Grzegorz Piechota.

Speaking at the INMA World Congress of News Media in New York in May, Piechota discussed these differences:

“From a marketing standpoint, content is actually abundant,” Piechota said. “It’s everywhere. There is a big amount of freely available content and also news.”

This makes it very difficult to sell, however, because it is so abundant. What media companies really need to stress in their marketing is what differentiates their content, he said.

“What we are really selling is something different. The essence of journalism is actually verification. What we sell is not any kind of news content — it is a verified news content with a process that’s called journalism.”

For Piechota, that is the big difference between content and journalism.

“You could say that news content is a commodity. It’s freely available and it’s very inexpensive. Journalism actually is expensive.”

It’s the process behind the verification aspect of journalism that is expensive. If an organisation, for example, wants to send a reporter to see what’s really going on in Syria, that is a large expense: “This is how we can communicate the value that comes with what we are distributing,” Piechota said.