Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Future of journalism

Jeff Jarvis in the Hindu (originally published in the Guardian):

AS A journalism professor, I'm asked two questions these days: first, why teach journalism? Aren't newspapers and news doomed? Why ensnare young people in a dying profession? I respond with an article of faith: journalism is evolving — at long last — and actually growing, and that's what makes this an exciting time to get into the news business. Secondly, I'm asked, how should you teach journalism today? Ah, that's the tough one.

I'm still in search of the answer as I finish my first term at the new City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

Others in our faculty teach the craft of journalism: the essential skills and verities of the profession. A few students did question the continuing need for the tricks of our trade, but I have argued that even a blog post or a podcast requires a good intro and headline — not to mention accuracy, clarity, and fairness — just as a news story does. So pay attention to the craft, I say. And they soon came to agree.

And, here's Kevin Drum on the unbearably heavy dependence of bloggers on MSM:

For all the hype over blogosphere triumphs such as the takedown of Dan Rather or the almost instant posting of cell-phone photos of the 2004 tsunami, the plain fact is that very few blogs do sustained original reporting of their own. It's also why the endless debate over whether blogs are better or worse than the msm is pointless. In the same way that newspapers excel at broad coverage of breaking news, TV excels at images, magazines excel at long analytic pieces, and talk radio excels at ranting screeds, blogs also excel at certain things. Trying to compare them to "journalism" is a mug's game, like trying to figure out if a beanbag is really a chair. Who cares? Beanbags are great for certain forms of sitting down and lousy at others.

In fact, blogs and the msm are symbiotic. Blogs at their best improve on msm reporting both by holding reporters to account and by latching onto complex topics and talking about them in a conversational style that professional reporters just can't match. But the blogosphere would shrivel and die without a steady diet of news reporting from paid professionals.


  1. Blue said...

    MSM is... mainstream media???