Quote of the Day: Jay Rosen on Newsroom “Traditionalists” and Changing Journalism
Our Quote of the Day comes from NYU’s Jay Rosen, a journalism professor who never fails to make many think about media issues who might not normally seriously think about media issues — or who might considering seriously thinking about media issues.
He has this MUST READ post on the tensions between media traditionalists the new media. Here’s his headline:
Look, you’re right, okay? But you’re also wrong.
A post that arises from a certain image I have of disaffected newsroom “traditionalists,” who look upon changes in journalism since the rise of the web with fear and loathing. It is not addressed to particular people but to a climate of mind I’ve encountered a lot in blogging about all this since 2003.
And here’s the first part of his take:
Look, you’re right. About a lot of things.
Editing by click rate is stupid and unethical. Chasing traffic is an abyss. The hamsterization of journalism is degrading the work environment for news professionals. Expecting reporters to report, write, blog, tweet, shoot video, sift the web, raise their metabolism, and produce more without time and training is guaranteed to fail. Trading in print dollars for digital dimes has been an economic disaster for newsrooms that ran on those dollars. Online advertising will never replace what was lost. The editorial staff is the engine that makes the whole thing go. You cannot cut your way to the future. The term “content” is a barbarism that bit by bit devalues what journalists do. Pure aggregation is parasitic on original reporting. Untended, online comment sections have become sewers, protectorates for the deranged, depraved and deluded. That we have fewer eyes on power, fewer journalists at the capital or city hall watching what goes on, almost guarantees that there will be more corruption. Bloggers and citizen journalists cannot fill the gap. Experienced beat reporters are the community’s institutional memory. Everyone needs an editor. It’s absurd to claim that “anyone” can be a journalist if we mean by that someone who knows how to find the right sources and ask the right questions, dig for information, counter the spin, produce a fair, accurate and unflinching account without libeling anybody– and do it all on deadline.
And then he has this:
But you’re wrong about a lot of things too.
Go to the link to read where he finds they’re wrong.
There has been a longstanding differing world view. To many in traditional media, bloggers are almost posing as members of the media and have the sole qualification of pressing keys on keyboards and getting online to write posts often not fact based and quite often at..ahem.. variance with facts. To many in the new media, the traditional media is all about restricting access and keeping in place gatekeepers that will decide who gets to disseminate content.
The difference, as Rosen notes, is that the traditional media and newsroom traditionalists need to adapt to the new media for their careers and their outlets to survive.
On the other hand, many bloggers sarcastically disdain newspapers, news agencies and magazines when if you took newspapers, news agencies and news magazines many of these blogs could not survive — since they cut, and paste, and quote and rant about reporting and opinion offered by newspapers, news agencies and magazines.
Read Rosen’s piece. He crams a lot of insight into it (as usual).