Things are Changing

I know I wrote a post saying journalism was okay a while back, but I found this in The Guardian last week.

Posted by Eugenia Siapera, the question is asked quite directly…

Does journalism need a change of tactics or a new model entirely, and is it meeting the needs of a changing society?

I think, in most cases, newspapers and online outlets have already begun to change the game we call journalism. Reporting is still happening, but on different platforms and mediums. We still use print, radio and the TV, but we now have smartphones, tablets and the Internet to help us get what we are looking for.

Siapera talks of the release of the Columbia Journalism School’s release of “Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present,” which says things like:
“There’s no way to look at organizations as various as the Texas Tribune, SCOTUSblog and Front Porch Forum or such platforms as Facebook,YouTube and Storify and see anything like coherence.There’s no way to look at new experiments in nonprofit journalism like Andy Carvin’s work at NPR during the Arab Spring and convince yourself that journalism is securely in the hands of for-profit businesses. And there’s no way to look at experiments in funding journalism via Kickstarter, or the coverage of protest movements via mobile phone, and convince yourself that making information public can be done only by professionals and institutions.”
It’s something to really jump into and read. It’s over 110 pages, but I found it really interesting. No, I didn’t read the whole thing. I should have, but I found things like this…
“More than any one strategy or capability, the core virtue in this environment is a commitment to adapting as the old certainties break and adopting the new capabilities we can still only partially understand, and to remember that the only reason any of this matters to more than the current employees of what we used to call the news industry is that journalism—real reporting, about whatever some- one somewhere doesn’t want published—is an essential public good.”
The paper doesn’t give up on hope, but, rather, says we all have to do something about it.
Siapera isn’t as convinced as I am, though, and for good reason.

“And yet, after excitement settled down, I couldn’t help feeling somewhat dissatisfied: the report delivers tactics, but not an overall strategy for journalism, its vision is interesting, but lacking in ambition. Will the acquisition of new skill sets and a turn towards more flexibility save journalism? Well, the answer would be yes, if these were the causes of journalism’s problems.”

What do we do now?
I’m not entirely sure, but it needs to be figured out sooner than later. I always think back to a guest post I did on a friends blog. I don’t want to make this post any longer, but most of my thoughts and ideas are in that piece.
As journalists, we know what’s happening. We are here for the ride and we’ll adapt.
The news won’t write itself.
Jonathan
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