Reports of Journalism’s Death have been Greatly Exaggerated
June 8, 2007
I really like this article by Dan Gillmor from the San Francisco Chronicle. Anyone in the field is aware of the doomsday attitude (thanks to massive budget cuts, layoffs, and other such negative things) that many members of the “Old Guard” have – and they’re correct in a way. The net has forever altered the way that journalism works and the current corporate business model is going to be tough to maintain.
Like Dan (who is the director of the Center for Citizen Media – check it out), I prefer to view these changes in an optimistic light. Yes, some of the traditional media outlets are probably going to disappear, or at least be drastically altered (print newspapers, for instance, are already having a difficult time competing with the web), but the democracy of the new media allows for participation at the broadest possible level.
Personally, I think this will be good for journalism in the long run. When everyone with a computer and internet connection is a potential reporter, all media outlets, traditional and otherwise, will be forced to become more accountable. They’ll have to raise their standards to compete in the oversaturated market, and hopefully the cream will rise to the top. Good reporting will triumph.
As a relative newcomer, (class of 2005), I think this is all really exciting. Dan says it perfectly:
“There’s never been a better time, I tell students, to be a journalistic entrepreneur — to invent your own job, to become part of the generation that figures out how to produce and, yes, sell the journalism we desperately need as a society and as citizens of a shrinking planet. The young journalists who are striking out on their own today, experimenting with techniques and business models, will invent what’s coming.”