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Reporting lives even if newspapers don't

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by cranberry, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    I thought King Kaufman did a good job making a point that reporting won't die because newspapers are struggling. Good reporting will just move to new forums and forms of distribution.

  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Hey look, it's the "Reporting must exist without paper" argument without a "this is how we pay for it" support.

    Again. Hooray.

    Call me when someone figures out how to pay for it.
  3. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    There are already plenty of reporters getting paid to report online and it isn't going away. Kaufman has been getting paid by Salon, on online publication, for many years now. The revenue models will only get better.

    The fear seems to come from newspaper folks who believe that somehow newspaper companies should be able to miraculously move online without absorbing any losses (dollars and jobs) from shutting down their off-line operations and without investing in their new endeavors. This isn't going to happen, of course.
  4. Wendy Parker

    Wendy Parker New Member

    Rick, none of us can sit back any longer and expect others to figure out a way to pay for the journalism that's disappearing from newspapers. We've got to be a big part of the solution. We've got to make this happen more than anyone else.

    Every journalist who wants to stay in the profession, whether he/she is still working in a newsroom or not, owes it to himself/herself to play a role in this transformation. That includes helping devise new business/revenue models for journalism online. It means working with Web entrepreneurs, online marketing and advertising experts and potential benefactors. It means learning the business side of journalism, which most of us (myself included) have loathed doing.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I know that technically, if someone, somewhere is getting paid for reporting, "reporting" still lives on.

    But when you go from 60k paid reporters to a few thousand, as I think we're headed, that's claiming victory on a technicality.
  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Well, I've examined the problem pretty closely, and determined that there is no solution. We've been trying to come up with one for a decade now and aren't one step closer.
  7. Wendy Parker

    Wendy Parker New Member

    Well Rick, with an attitude like that I suppose there will never be a solution. In your own mind.

    There are no guarantees. I'm working on a couple of journalism startups and proposed startups. They may not work. That is the nature of startups and entrepreneurial ventures. There is no money in them now. I am frustrated by this, but I have to soldier on. I'm not going to give up without trying. Is this quixotic? Perhaps, but it beats assuming that nothing can be done.

    The institutions that have underwritten our work for years are crumbling and they are throwing us out. What do you think should be done about it?

    Oh, that's right. Nothing.
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I didn't say nothing *should* be done.

    I'm saying that if no one can come up with anything better than the same ideas that keep failing, then there's nothing wrong with admitting nothing can be done.
  9. Wendy Parker

    Wendy Parker New Member

    So Rick, you sound like you still expect others -- presumably the same folks who haven't come up with anything that's worked thus far -- to do the heavy lifting?

    Why not you? Why not any of us? Some new ideas obviously wouldn't hurt. Some new energy and imagination. There are so many of us who have never really been asked to do this before. Now's the time to do it.
  10. I don't buy that. I think the solution's just harder to find than it has been in the past for other problems. But there must be a solution. I truly believe that.

    Now, when will it come? I have no idea. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in six months, maybe a year, maybe a decade. But I'm confident at some point, the solution will come.
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I would argue that this belief comes more from a need to believe than from an examination of the evidence.
  12. Wendy Parker

    Wendy Parker New Member

    "I would argue that this belief comes more from a need to believe than from an examination of the evidence."


    So what's your evidence, then? Let's hear it.

    And please keep in mind that newspapers have come so late to the Web, in terms of editorial and business approaches. They've barely begun to incorporate multimedia, social media and mobile into their content. They were starting to do relatively well in online advertising only recently when the economy tanked. They never expected that revenue would ever eclipse print advertising revenue even when times were better.

    So whatever "evidence" you cite needs to be understood in that context.

    Twitter and Facebook haven't figured out a way to make money either, but that doesn't mean they're not trying to. The same for YouTube. They don't have a "need to believe" any more than I do.

    But neither are they sitting on their hands and expecting others to come up with the answers. Or throwing up their hands and just giving up.
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