It’s a big topic, the effects of twitter and citizen’s blogs and the new way we get the news. It feels like professional journalists are either getting scared for their lives or joining in with the rest of the world, which seems defeating as well. After all this hard work and training, it turns out people who have never had a journalism course in their life are doing all the reporting now. We, as trained journalists, are actually learning from these new players in the game of news delivery.
And I say, what’s wrong with that? I say that changing the way we do things is something we need to do. The reason many journalists go to school for it is because they care about the profession so much and it is a great place to learn. If they care so much, then they should understand the value of adapting to a new environment and then master that environment. Journalism and journalists will never disappear because the news still needs to be told and if you are going to call yourself a journalist, you are going to be the best at doing so.
But how can we compete with free? The expectation that the public has for free news is scaring many journalists, from what I’ve seen. This is a legitimate fear, because it is out there for free, so why pay for it? The generation that buys newspapers subscriptions is disappearing, people are going to the internet now, which is not generating the profit it needs to for news services. News organizations are going to have to be creative.
My dumb little idea: Non-profit news organizations. I doubt the feasibility of this, but I would look at non-profit organizations like Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Operation Smile, and the thousands of others out there. The news would run off of a donation basis and provide a service for all, and obviously stay away from government funding. It’s just an idea I had.