Sunday, March 29, 2009
Kalb Report: Journalism in Crisis
I went to another Kalb report last Monday. This one was called Down to the Wire: Journalism in Crisis. It focused on the plight of traditional news media these days how it's going to cope with the new technology of the world wide web. An emphasis in the discussion is what is happening with newspapers today. This seemed especially relevant with the demise of the Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post Intellingencer.
The panelists agreed that single greatest problem was how to generate revenue. The old model of ads supporting a paper no longer will work. It really hasn't for the past few years and with the economy in the dumps newspapers are really feeling a loss in revenue.
As Jon Klein said you have to get over the idea of the old fashioned newspaper. And Alberto Ibarguen added you need to look for a way to deliver content to people for the next 5, 10, 15 years. The consensus being how do you deliver content to everyone's mobile device. And I thought what exactly will that mobile device look like in 15 years which could have a huge impact on how the content is delievered.
They all seemed to think that journalism will come through this fine. That as the economy recovers so will the new business. They really didn't answer at what cost. I think we need to be concerned about newspapers going under. They provide a wide range of news for a specific location. They also provide in depth coverage of issues that you just don't see any where else. I guess the question has to be asked how would the Watergate scandal unfold in today's media age.
Also I worry about, which was touched on at the forum, of people going to sites that only reflect their views. Conservatives to the Drudge Report; liberals to Huffington Post. When do people ever hear opposing views? Most of the time that comes from the main stream news media. Newspapers being an important part of that.
I guess the question to ponder is as the technology allows us to become even more instantly connected to what going on in the world do we become less connected to each other.