Sunday, October 3, 2010

In the nick of time: Weekend reading

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
To wrap up your weekend:

" 'Newspaper Companies that Will Survive Will Not Consider Themselves Newspaper Companies' " (Poynter Online): Romenesko posted an on-the-money message to the troops from Dallas Morning News Publisher and CEO James M. Moroney III on the occasion of the paper's 125th anniversary -- but the words should resonate with anyone involved in journalism. That's because Moroney, incorporating remarks he made at a recent community luncheon, lays out clearly why newspapers -- or rather their newsrooms -- are important: scale.

Indeed, he uses the word scale at least 15 times to explain that the newsrooms of metro newspapers are the only organizations that can match the scale of the entities they cover. "[I]t is only the newspaper companies that have the scale of resources to match up to the scale of our local governments," he writes. Some newspapers endangered that balance as they made big cuts in expenses -- i.e., personnel -- in the face of declining ad revenue. But he warns that "If newspaper companies continue to reduce the scale of the reporting resources in their newsrooms, they will level the reporting playing field with local TV stations and give up their competitive advantage."

Moroney sees the Dallas paper surviving in print form for at least another decade -- print revenue is still too valuable to give up. But he advises that in the future, "[N]ewspaper companies that will survive will not consider themselves to be newspaper companies. They recognize that they are local media companies. They will distribute content on paper, through the Internet, via the mobile web, through applications and any other way technology lets consumers access news and information. They will make themselves an indispensable resource of local news and information for citizens of the communities they serve."

"Why Connie Schultz Won't Give up on the Fight for Good Journalism" (Poynter Online): Similar to the aforementioned, this is a don't-give-up-the-good-fight pep talk: Stop listening to the gloom and doom and remember what it is about journalism that is so infectious to its practitioners.

For Schultz, it's righting wrongs among the disenfranchised in the working class -- but also reminding everyone of the importance of journalism: "No amount of random blogging and gotcha videos can replace the journalism that keeps a government accountable to its people," she writes. "If you're a journalist, you already know that. If you're the rest of America, chances are you have no idea."

Schultz' essay is part of the Voices & Values of Journalism project, which offers views on aspects of journalism from two dozen so-called "thought leaders."

Video interlude No. 1, inspired by Schultz' roots.

"Why I am Not a Journalist: A True Story" (PressThink): New York University professor Jay Rosen offers an entertaining other-side-of-the-coin account of how he almost became a journalist. After breaking an unknown (to him) code of conduct, though, he became a media critic instead.

1 comment:

Alexis Grant said...

What a great list! Thanks for the comment on my blog... It led me to yours! Always great to connect with other journos, especially from the Albany area.