Two good posts on journalism

Both from Doug Fisher of Common Sense Journalism; the first deals with the value of journalism:

And that’s what too many journalists do not seem to understand – people never actually paid for the journalism. If they had, we could have been out selling our work individually on the streets (why have a middleman?). They paid for the aggregation, the convenience and the filtering function — yes, the packaging, as much as anything .

Journalists needed the middleman. So did consumers. It was a nice symbiotic model. But consumers no longer need it so much. The business only works so long as both sides of the equation are in equilibrium.

I’ve been making this point for some time now, that what’s especially important journalism post-Internet is the ability to filter information and point readers/subscribers to what’s important  Just because the world’s information is at my fingertips does not mean I have the time to sort through it all myself.  In a way, the question “Is this newsworthy?” is becoming even more important.

The second post is a reprint of a column that breaks down journalism into four parts.  A taste:

To do that, I‘ve proposed four broad areas: acquiring information, analyzing and interpreting information, presenting information and finding an audience.

This isn’t just academic, however. It can be useful in assessing your newsroom. We discovered, for instance, that we put a lot of effort into showing students how to present information, but perhaps not enough into acquiring and analyzing it and very little into helping these young journalists understand the audience.

A-freaking-men to that.  Again, analysis – what am I looking at and why should I care? – is important and underrated.  It’s not a new idea, but I’d love to see a journalism/tech pairing, where one writes the stories and the other does data mining and prepares the information for presentation.  Or perhaps a degree geared towards that.

Go read both.

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One Comment on “Two good posts on journalism”

  1. Doug Fisher Says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

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