I did an op-ed in the Chronicle today. It’s called “Journalism isn’t dying, it’s reviving.”
Posted in: News Business.
Enjoyed your piece and I agree wholeheartedly. There’s no point in whining, the change/evolution is happening, it’s not good or bad it just is, so learn how to get the most out of it.
When I have conversations with people about this I always point out that it’s the story journalists should be concerned with, not the medium. Make it play the best way it can to enhance and improve the story. That often seems to get lost in today’s hype.
Once thing, though. I know you didn’t intend it, but to my eyes your piece seemed to stress, once again, the “old guard” braying against the intrusion of new tech and new media. I know plenty like me — very old guard — who have been working with the new stuff for years and are perfectly comfortable with it.
Please give us some credit. The future doesn’t belong only to the young!!
Great piece, Dan. From an outsider’s perspective, I blogged a similar post a couple days ago, although of course not nearly as informed or well written. As you blogged, I think the overall ecosystem will gain, and it will be the journalistic entrepreneurs that lead the charge (young or old journalists, as Brian stated).
While waiting for a decafe latte grande at a local coffee shop, I looked down into a wicker basket of “used” newspapers and there staring at me was your Open Forum article, “Journalism isn’t dying, it’s reviving.” I picked it up and read it and for once agreed with an “off-ed”piece in the San Francisco Chronicle.
I am a semi-retired journalism major, who let the lure and rewards of money him into the world of advertising, banking and eventual management as always seems to happen to self-indulgence people like me.
A couple of points for you to consider.
I fear a continuation of the breakdown in objectivity of reporting that has made many to question the “agenda” of the reporter writing the story. Does this reporter have a concious or unconscious personel political bias influencing the story. I no longer trust the person or editorial policies of a newspaper.. I understand blogs, editorial and opinion pages. What I miss is quality reporting of state and local news. What I see is too many reporters trying for the big Pultizer Prize story. The slant of the story reflecting the reporters and/or the senior editor’s political stance and bias.
Trust is important for a newspaper. I may not like the editorial opinion of a newspaper but when I see overt or convert bias on page 5A, it bothers me. Has the public come to a similar conclusion and begun to write-off the newspaper as a source of reliable information? Is this the genesis of Cable News and Bill O’Riely?
A second point.
Have newspaper’s allowed the education system to get away with failing to teach students how to and appreciate the written word?
Yes, I understand the use, multiple advantages, disadvantages of a computer. But, how often does the average person read a book? Tech messaging to me a symbol of the decline of the written word. It is not literature. It is ” white bread ghetto English” used to satisfy a short attention span.
The disappearance of the appreciation of the written word is another reason for the slow demise of my local newspaper. Yes, I use the internet to get late breaking stories personally and for business. But, I want my newspaper to explain and help me understand what happened. Tie the pieces together and give me the opportunity to come to my own conclusion.
One of my journalism professors convinced me, the public is lot smarter than we give them credit. They are slow and late to act. But, once they make up their minds, they have the power to move mountains and in most cases they are correct.
Journalism will survive. Newspapers may die. I just want truth to thrive.
M. Russell Brown
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