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Washington Post editor Marty Baron on the future

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FileNotFound, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    Couple of key takeaways from this:

    "If this pace of change unnerves you, there is no consolation. Things will only get faster. And for those who resist the change rather than embrace it, there will be no forbearance or forgiveness. Their destiny is to be pushed aside and forgotten. That is the brutal truth. So journalism’s Big Move from print to digital comes with discomfort for those, like me, who grew up in this field well before the 21st Century. We just have to get over it."

    "Let’s start with what we need to discard. We can start by discarding the lingering notion that paper will remain for long a big part of what we do. It will not. For a while, yes. But it will not last."

    "We have fostered a tight working relationship with our Engineering department, with 47 engineers working with our journalists. Four years ago, we had only four engineers in newsroom. When we move into a new office within a year, all 47 engineers will be embedded in our newsroom, working side by side with our journalists."

    Really good stuff overall, and proof that Baron has a good grasp on the direction of the industry, better than most media executives. Worth the time to read.

    Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron on journalism’s transition from print to digital - The Washington Post
  2. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Partially disagree, but not much. I think a good print product is vital to the overall picture. However, Marty has more ideas than most media executives do and it at least shows he's thinking about the future. I thought it was a great read.
  3. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    "God help us; we’re in the hands of engineers."

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  4. Florida_Man

    Florida_Man Member

    "Print, uh, finds a way."
  5. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member


    Sounds straight out of Huxley.
  6. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    It was an interesting read, with some good points about the digital audience. I like how the Washington Post has a large number of journalists/"engineers" working overnight, with the goal of having the best and freshest information ready to go at 5 a.m., when people start firing up their gadgets.

    A red flag for me: He said journalists of the future need to be entrepreneurs, working more closely with advertisers.

    The line between "news" and press releases keeps getting blurrier all the time.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I wanted to do the same thing in Trenton in '09, have an overnight guy putting stuff together for the morning Web audience by 5 or 6.

    Also wanted to do a few live TV shows at the 2, 3 o'clock hour for the night owls, as a way of keeping a 24-hour cycle of fresh content.
  8. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    The key after reading that, is for everybody to get some engineers who know how to write so those engineers can do it all. Those engineers are obviously way more important than the writers.
    My take is being a salesperson for a newspaper/website is a pretty horrendous job (really one of the worst jobs a person can have nowadays) and those low-quality, dare I say lazy?, sales people are the ones who have ruined this industry. Nobody can sell ads cause these ad sales people are just not very good. That's too simplistic for the suits, however. They've invented a million reasons why the print product is dead and soon must be buried forevermore. So just get on with it. Let's go all online and do it soon. That's the goal of the suits, anyhow.
  9. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    I agree. So where's the revenue going to come from? Those $10-a-month digital subscriptions aren't going to keep the lights on.
  10. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I don't mind (or doubt) the viewpoint - I do wonder how many journos still work at major papers who don't "do" or "get" twitter/facebook/etc. And I don't think most people still working at papers can have much confidence in the leadership that appears to have been so unprepared for the transformation.
    I really don't think anyone working has a problem with digital, but if the new way throws away a newspaper's credibility or status to become another website with listicles, polls and photo galleries - what's the point?
    I Should Coco likes this.
  11. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    I think you have to understand Baron's own situation. His only competition for the national audience his digital operation needs is the Times, and its Website is so superior to the Post's at present it's hardly a competition. He is speaking to his own troops (and to his boss!) more than to journalists in general, but big-time editors get to generalize in public.
    Fredrick likes this.
  12. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Blah, blah, Bezos, blah, blah.
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