I am at the news:rewired conference in London today, which is held at the Microsoft offices which overlooks Westminster Cathedral (see pic above).
The conference kicks off with a keynote from Peter Bale, a former Times journalist who is now executive producer MSN UK.
Encouragingly, he speaks of the demand by MSN users for hard news and the investment being made by the company in journalism, with the number of journalists and web producers employed by MSN increasing from 11 to 50 over the past few years. He says: "We have built up at a time when other news organisations are cutting back."
Bale also reveals that MSN is today introducing an ethics Code of Conduct which is published on the site (see post below). He says MSN will never take copy from PA or Reuters and put their own by-lines on stories "unlike some other news organisations."
Bale highlighted three of his favourite online journalists who have created their own brands - and one hyperlocal site.
The journalists are: Josh Halliday, the Sunderland journalism student who has just got a job on the Guardian; Jemima Kiss, of the Guardian; Robert Andrews, of paid:contentUK; and the hyperlocal website for the Kings Cross area of London launched by Will Perrin.
Mike Harris, public affairs manager of the Libel Reform Campaign, told the conference how social media had been more important than Google in promoting the campaign. He said one tweet from Stephen Fry had driven 1,918 people to the campaign's site.
Harris added: "Twitter and blogs can make a lot of noise. Success is turning that into your desired outcome."