29 December 2011

The business of journalism: inevitable marriage or grotesque oxymoron?

The definition of journalism has changed. But what is this new definition? Is there a difference between journalism and digital journalism?

The Web overflows with stories about the media revolution, about mobile apps and social networking, about new tools that have changed the process of news reporting. The various functions within a traditional news organization are merging — technical skills, marketing, design strategies, brand development, and even sales — to create super-journos, with skills that appeal to the entrepreneurial spirit.

However, is this mass convergence appealing to the spirits of those journalists who died protecting the right to full access to information? New media compliments traditional media, but it certainly doesn't replace it, as noted in the Meghan Peters' Mashable article, which discusses Andy Carvin's live tweeting from Tunisia as the Arab Spring sprang alive. His work added to the story, but it wasn't the story.

But as we "brand" ourselves as online journalists through social media and personal websites, do we risk losing the forest for the trees? Is being a great journalist now more important than being part of a great news organization?

The money making apparatus that pays for journalists to work is changing. Fast. It should be embraced, but should we all be business owners? Doesn't that, by nature, remove any power we have to be completely independent? Isn't 'independence' one of the four ethical standards included in the Society of Professional Journalists' oath?

If you have an alternative view or any insight into this subject, please comment below or send an email to savingethicaljournalism(at)gmail(dot)com.

No comments:

Post a Comment