Martin Stabe:The Journalism Gap

Martin Stabe has a cracking post on his site that picks up on some of the issues raised by John Niochols in his piece in The Nation Newspapers…and After?. It’s got a killer conclusion.

Equally important is that the Internet is not, as some assume, the obvious solution. Nichols warns:

The web has yet to emerge as a distinct journalistic force—let alone one that speaks with the authority at the local, state or regional level of a traditional daily newspaper. While the web may someday be home to sites that generate the revenues needed to pay reporters and editors to produce meaningful journalism, that day has yet to arrive in any real sense.

“What is really frightening is that newspapers appear to be dying so quickly that they may disappear, or at least disappear as a serious part of our lives, before we have a replacement for them. That’s a grave danger to democracy,” says [Washington Post veteran and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Maraniss].

Exactly. This looming journalism gap, which some people have been warning of for ages, is the real issue we should all be talking about.

Many would argue that the web has arrived as a distinct journalistic force. But the reality is that MSM is not a distinctive force in that journalism and that isnt really Martins point.
In ignoring the web, in not engaging in the online medium, we are risking a ‘journalism gap’ that we will never be able to get over. A gap that will be filled with all the kinds of ‘journalism’ that mainstream media commentators like Greenslade dismiss as powerless.

So, thinking about the current ‘go online’ rallying cry, any old died in the wool journalists out there are sticking the knife in the online way of doing things maybe need to think about what will take their place. If they have any love for journalism and respect for the influence it has, rather than the paper they hold in their hands. They may see online journalism as worthwhile after all.

Print out Martins conclusion and, if there is any room next to Mindy’s post, stick it to their noses.

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