Monday, 19 March 2012

The state of journalism

As I mentioned, I follow a fair number of newspaper people and journalists - I'd love to follow more, but wow the ones I do follow certainly provide ample material to keep me reading for hours!

I find it very interesting how there are so many common threads with professional journalists, regardless of which part of the world they're from. Here's some of what I've gleaned in my reading travels, in a general sense:

1) they feel under paid
2) they're frustrated at their work being pirated across the Internet
3) they're unhappy with the number of amateur writers gaining momentum through blogging
4) they're uncertain about what the future holds for them

And is it any wonder with comments like "As career journalists we have entered a new era where what we know and what we traditionally do has finally found its value in the marketplace and that value is about zero." being made by leaders like John Paton.  However, let's not jump to taking it out of context, as John also goes on to say "This has been one of the most gut-wrenching struggles for me to deal with because clearly journalism is not without value but, for sure, how it is largely practiced in print today – particularly “he said last night journalism” – nearly is valueless."

John is absolutely correct - to a point.  But there really is much more to it and while the whole concept of "Digital First" sounds great it will only truly be great if it's done properly.  So far, it's not being done properly.

I'm really not kidding, there is a massively better way to handle the print to digital transition.  A way that will have journalists jumping for joy at the income levels they will be capable of earning.  A way that will have consumers saying "finally I can begin to rely on my trusted newsrooms again".  Better still, a way that will completely reverse the plummeting bottom lines of newsrooms everywhere.

When you're ready, let me know.  In the meantime, I'm continuing to flesh out specific details, formalize business plans, draft operation strategies... all the fun stuff that goes into something great!

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