Courtesy of Wolfgang Blau’s Twitter feed:
“I am much less concerned about who we call a journalist than about what we call journalism” –
Thanks to Flowing Data for passing along.
Brilliant and delightful. Linguistics over policing.
Unfortunately for me, I’m actually not in D.C. when the big Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear kicks off on October 30th. But in almost ironic fashion, it’s of course become a craziness in and of itself that goes far beyond a sane approach to covering a rally. As noted by this article in Christian Science Monitor, now we’re talking about the impact of media organizations and their roles in affecting who may or may not attend/cover the event:
Voices such as Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo and Glenn Greenwald of Salon could be examples of where journalism is headed. “[Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert] make no pretense of having no opinions,” Cohen says, but they do their homework, source everything with facts, and glean information from as many sources as possible. Given the avalanche of information available, transparency – not control – is the coin of the new realm, he adds.
The traditional values of journalism are under siege, says Kelly McBride, who is on the faculty at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. “If you work in a newsroom, part of your mission is to speak across the political spectrum,” she says. She points to the language of the Colbert and Stewart rally: The satiric dig implied in “Restore Sanity” is a swipe at the earlier Glenn Beck rally, which was entitled, “Restoring Honor.”
This is going to be a certain kind of entertaining, I have a feeling.
A doctoral study out of the Missouri School of Journalism may have just formalize the new classification of local media. For time, local news has been network TV syndicates, local dailies and then other combinations of public broadcast or less frequent newspapers. The online world has mirrored that, generally, except for local blogs here and there.
Generally speaking, the data from the study is interesting. Maybe the only thing that leaves it as an outlier is the fact that survey was available by links on these sites, so it was dealing with a known audience. Still, with more than 1,100 respondents across 19 sites, you get an idea that there is something different going on in the online community news realm.
All things considered, we need to figure out some defining characteristics for the hypercommunity sites associated with things like Patch (or even those more focused on regional) that have become the flavor of the year in journalism. These aren’t individually run or even networked blogs, but associations with professional journalists who are looking for alternatives to newspapers, in my opinion. That’s where the bullpen gets stocked from 80 percent of the time when building out a community site. The way I see it, the strength and growth of community news sites has been on the backs of people who’s day jobs would be in a news room, looking to reinvent their model.
I think those who should be most worried are probably the “weekend bloggers” who still offer legitimate services to their communities. Unless community sites pull a TBD and bring the independent blogs directly into their content, the only way to get that news impact is probably to become the professional. I’m not saying these bloggers don’t have the chops – actually, having worked directly with some of the best bloggers in my city, I know that they actually may have honed the skill fairly well. What I do think it is apparent, though, is that supporting independent news ventures is going to get a lot harder without a community.
Hats off to CUNY’s Grad School of Journalism, the Tow and Knight Foundations for launching a Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. Working with Professor Jeff Jarvis, the center is dedicated to innovation (my favorite thing) and finding new business models for news. The dedicated study of building the future of journalism isn’t just in creating good reporters, it’s also necessary to train the executives who will someday be making the decisions. Right now, those executives think about traditional models and things like subscriptions and pay walls. We need a new generation, and hopefully this program is part of the first step.
From the release:
The Center, which opens next month, will work to create a sustainable future for quality journalism in three ways:
- Education of students and mid-career journalists in innovation and business management;
- Research into relevant topics, such as new business models for news;
- Development of new journalistic enterprises.
Faculty members are developing courses for the new M.A. degree. The courses, which will be pilot-tested next spring, are expected to teach business and management skills, the new dynamics of news and media economics, and technology and project management, with apprenticeships at New York startups. Upon approval by the New York State Education Department, the first entrepreneurial degrees are expected to be awarded in the spring of 2012, to students currently enrolled in the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Excited to see what may come out of the Center.
Disc. – I have a soft spot in my heart for the Knight Foundation. Several years back in grad school, I worked as a research assistant under Syracuse’s Knight Chair. No way does that impact my thoughts on this Center.
The Hamster Wheel is volume without thought. It is news panic, a lack of discipline, an inability to say no. It is copy produced to meet arbitrary productivity metrics.
~Dean Starkman, Columbia Journalism Review
As a former Communications major, I have to say, I’m in no way offended because everything here is accurate. From Cracked’s 6 Best College Majors (For Filling You With Regret):
Why You Chose It
Look, you get it. No college career is going to spit you out onto the fast track to being a millionaire. Majoring in Communications allows you to achieve the same degree as all your friends while doing, like, half the work.
Why You’ll Regret It
Contrary to popular belief, there’s one really difficult aspect of being a Communications major: Convincing everyone you’re not functionally retarded after they find out you’re a Communications major.
There isn’t a more eye-rolling, smirk-inducing major than Communications. And hey, maybe those Communications professors really are good at, uh, communicating because the only people who don’t seem to know that they’ve selected a joke major are the Communications majors themselves. I’ve met some very earnest ones, who speak emphatically about how their school has “the best Communications program in the country.” It’s sort of adorable. Like a kindergartner who doesn’t realize all their classmate’s finger paintings got first prize at the art show too.
But at its core, what Wise did isn’t about social media. It’s about fabrication, which is indefensible, even if done in jest. Our business is truth. A journalist’s falsehood on Twitter is the same as a falsehood in the paper.