Monday, November 30, 2009

Hope for the Media Pros. Opportunity for the Masses.

Is journalism really dying? What is to become of journalism as the digital age marches forward? According to News Cycle, there have been 14,662 newspaper jobs lost in 2009. Circulation figures are falling. Editorial staff levels are being cut to the bone, and just recently AP laid off 90 newsroom employees. Online subscription models are unpopular and digital ad sales unpredictable.

It may be that journalism isn’t dying, but just migrating to the Blogosphere as it did with television and radio before that. Google CEO Eric Schmidt sees a need to differentiate between “bloggers” and those in traditional news that also blog. There’s no bright line, to be sure. But there is a sense that the distinction runs far deeper than the technology.

In Zachary Seward’s recent piece on Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, Schmidt said he thinks blogs from legitimate organizations will be “treated differently than an individual blogger who’s using his or her right of free expression to say whatever he thinks.” He cites the presence of an editor, as an example. “You know, an editor that’s not your mom,” he said.

It may not be an official distinction, but it does show that many of us are still willing to hold real journalism aloft and differentiate it from hobbyists who just express opinions, as opposed to gathering information. That said, some amateurs are taking advantage of the opportunities created by the technology, and taking it rather seriously.

The Washington Post is mining this newfound trove of bloggers to find America’s Next Great Pundit. The contest puts 10 entrants through their pundit-paces with a 750-word column challenge, testing their blogging skills (write tight and bright, switch gears and respond to a reader comment), and taking live questions from readers.

The Prize? The lucky winner has the opportunity to join the Post’s Pulitzer-winning stable of opinion contributors in the print and online editions.

Much remains to be seen where technology will ultimately take the news business. But one thing is certain. Journalism is far from dead. Whether it’s mortally wounded or rapidly evolving may be one of the most important questions of our time.

1 comment:

  1. Ah! it is a very sad news!! i think some serious steps should be taken to promote journalism. residual income home business

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