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And just like a school of swimmers caught in a real riptide, even some of the best-prepared and forward-thinking media companies were swept away no matter how hard they tried to survive.
These exponentially increasing digital building blocks have enabled generation after generation of wunderkind engineers to develop fresher ways to deliver, receive, and share information, much of it directly in the wheelhouse of the old news businesses — not just news, but display advertising and distribution and, most devastating to many newspapers, classified advertising.
Post-Industrial Journalism (Tow Center for Digital Journalism) Leading the Way to Better News (Geoffrey Cowan) Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy (Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy) Why Newspapers Matter (John S.
Carroll) Big News Forges Its Own Path (David Carr, New York Times) Not surprisingly, the press hasn’t treated this story like just any other industrial disruption.
In such an environment, the argument goes, a genuinely informed citizenry is replaced with an anarchy of half-truths, misinformation, and propaganda. The summer of 2013 saw two particularly seminal events that highlight the acute situation legacy journalism companies find themselves in today: The Boston Globe sold for a mere million to the owner of the Boston Red Sox (after once selling to The New York Times Co.
Indeed, if one were to eavesdrop on a gathering of traditional journalists deploring the state of the news media, it would be easy to conclude that without high-quality journalism, American democracy would be hugely diminished. People should consume it because we say it’s important.” The point I’m making here is there is so much out there to consume right now that you actually have to build something that people like. On the national level, the owners of the big legacy news businesses have fought fiercely against the disruptors, often with the effect of a frustrated ocean swimmer flailing against a fierce rip current.
This is a view also shared by many nonjournalists of all political persuasions, even though these same people might also be very critical of the media. People do not want to have to eat spinach because it’s good for them. They have waged legal battles over “fair use”; they have lobbied against anti-competitive behavior; and in many cases they have yielded to the current, creating substantial digital advertising businesses with hundreds of millions in revenue dollars of their own.
The precipitous fall of the industry that produces what we have come to call quality journalism — that is, independently reported, verified, branded information published or broadcast by institutions prepared to “stand by their stories” despite pressures from commercial or government interests — is hardly a fresh subject.
Tens of thousands of articles, books, research papers, and documentaries have been devoted to the topic.
Those arguing the other side tend to be many of the so-called disruptors — entrepreneurs engaged in building new digital-only news business models around aggregation, blogging, and low-cost newsgathering. for $1.1 billion), and The Washington Post Company stunned the journalism world by selling its iconic newspaper to one of those very names we mentioned at the outset: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.