Journalism Is Not Dead

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I was watching an online conversation on Twitter yesterday about the NFL players whose boat capsized and the rescue attempt to find them.

XarkGirl made the comment that she had told her coworkers in the newsroom that she saw the story break on Twitter (which is were I saw it as well) and their response was quite typical. Not surprising but typical.

She wrote:

So i’m brgging in newsroom that twtr had NFL boat stry hour ago. Dude sez: some people work & don’t have time to Twittr. God in heaven.

Her tweet got me to thinking about how many times I’ve heard this comment as well. She went on to write that the person who said this was waiting for updates by watching the television in the newsroom.

Here is lies the problem as I see it. If journalists don’t even attempt to learn new technology, then where will they be in five years? One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen in newsrooms and hearing from other journalists is the lack of commitment from coworkers and management to embrace new technology. The other downside is, and I’ve gone through this personally, when we do become technology evangelists, we basically are chastised for our eagerness.

This isn’t uncommon unfortunately.

Another journalist/editor from Jackson put a question up on his Facebook account yesterday asking if he should tell a teenage friend the realities of the journalism business. He wrote that his school-aged buddy was smitten with print journalism.

He wrote and I’ll paraphrase: Should I try to rescue her from this impulse?

He was serious.

All of us who responded said he should tell her the truth. One person responded that many new journalists find a 35mm camera romantic and nostalgic and those things needed to be taken into account which I thought was interesting, and very accurate.

I started out with a 35mm and we didn’t move to color until the mid-nineties. In less than 15 years, technology changed.

I see both of these online dilemmas from two dedicated journalists connected.

As things change, we have a choice. We learn and evolve with changing technology and online tools, or we don’t. I’m going with door number one.

And one last note in my observations this morning, journalism is not dead. The current business model for the industry is what is ailing like a fish out of water but journalism remains viable.

It’s important to remember the difference.

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2 Comments

  1. xarkGirl said March 3, 2009 | Permalink

    You really hit it, newscoma. The failure to embrace tech, in some cases the outright hostility to it, is so contrary to what I used to love about the type of people who chose journalism: brash, smart, maybe even a little arrogant. Now it’s like the only thing left is arrogance and a sense of entitlement.

    I used to have this scrawled on the whiteboard in my office: Are you a journalist or do you just work for a newspaper? I erased it. The answers were too depressing.

  2. KTOWN said March 3, 2009 | Permalink

    “journalism is not dead. The current business model for the industry is what is ailing like a fish out of water but journalism remains viable. It’s important to remember the difference.”

    That is simply the best thing I have read today. Knowing the difference between this and that is a key in any business.

    I appreciate good journalism when I read it (or see it) for I know I am not a journalist…but then again neither are a lot of reporters.

3 Tweetbacks & Trackbacks

  1. Addingle (Ad Ingle) on March 3, 2009

    shout out to xarkgirl
    http://tinyurl.com/borb5k

  2. Journalism Is Not Dead: I was watching an online conversation on Twitter yesterday about the NFL players whose b.. http://tinyurl.com/borb5k

  3. newtbarrett (Newt Barrett) on March 10, 2009

    If so many journalists are hopeless Luddites, could it be true that: Journalism Is Not Dead | NewsTechZilla http://tinyurl.com/borb5k

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