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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Journalism in crisis?

Clark Hoyt thinks so. From a story in the Stanford Daily:

Clark Hoyt, the Washington, D.C. Bureau chief for the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, painted a dim picture of the state of American journalism during his talk last night, asserting that the mainstream media must be vigilant to remain relevant in the increasingly competitive industry of information.

“Twenty-first century American journalism is at a crisis,” said Hoyt, the keynote speaker for the annual John S. Knight lecture, held at Kresge Auditorium. “We’ve got to be that defined voice of reason that people can use.”

Or, put another way, people need a defined voice of reason, and newspapers and traditional media want to be that voice. Whether or not they can retain that position is basically up to them and how fast and how well they can adapt.

May 16, 2006 at 09:59 AM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink


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Hmmm... I'm not a student of the history of journalism, but isn't the idea of a Monolithic Media as "the defined voice of reason" a relatively newish concept, like from the 1960s onward? I mean if you look back just 60 or 70 years, you've got all these different newspapers competing with each other, each with its own particular voice. Also, journalism in general was a lot less respectable - more of a job/service and less of a vocation/calling.

I think the "mainstream media" should concentrate on what it can do better than anyone else: nuts-and-bolts reporting, fact-gathering, etc. I mean, it is fun to read bloggers, but without the hard work put in by reporters at the New York Times, AP, Reuters, etc., the blogs would be nothing but opinionating in a vacuum.

But what "new media" like blogs and stuff have shown is that punditry (a) isn't all that hard and (b) isn't necessarily any better or worse based on whether its performed by amateur or professional opionators.

Posted by: Jon Hastings | May 17, 2006 9:07:12 AM

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