Strengthen Journalism as Newspapers Die

More on the death of newspapers…


While many entrenched in the media industry are trying to find ways to prop up the traditional model of print – micropayments, subscription models, media cartels – in the face of economic turmoil, some thinkers – Steven Berlin Johnson and Clay Shirky among them – believe that this attempt at life support is only delaying their inevitable demise or perhaps, reorder.

Johnson suggests traditional media start doing to the online sector what is increasingly done to them -excerpt. He shares some wisdom courtesy of Jeff Jarvis, “Do what you do best, and link to the rest.” This Johnson notes, could free newspapers to return to their roots and refocus on their main strength – long form journalism – which is what Shirky has been pulling for all along, sort of.

Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.

And while Shirky doesn’t see print’s role as essential to preserving the overall reader experience, Johnson maintains that newspapers can remain relevant in other ways, notably by serving as gatekeepers to the increasingly cluttered field of players – separating out the reputable voices from the rumor mill.

Read the entire article here.

Image Source: Pragmagraphr


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