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Archive for August 2012

Saving journalism must also save an audience that doesn’t give a damn

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Every 10 minutes, it seems, somebody dredges up from the miasma of past moribund media strategies the idea that will save journalism. But such ideas are too often about saving the business of journalism — and that’s a much different conundrum to consider than what truly ails the fractured relationship between journalism and democracy.

As for saving journalism? There’s government funding and/or “non-market” money or government dictation of funding mechanisms. How about computer nerds or “hacker journalists,” “personalized news,” the Federal Trade Commission’s “recommendations” for the reinvention of journalism, or a mashup of government subsidy, community ownership of local news outlets, and non-traditional or non-profit support for journalism outlets? Just Google “save journalism.” All the ideas are there, from the hackneyed to the improbable to the Are you effing kidding me?

Now, adding to the mix, backers of the Knight Foundation, in their infinite wisdom, have published an “An Open Letter to America’s University Presidents” with a blunt message regarding their journalism programs: Change or die (because as grant-making institutions, we won’t fund you if you don’t change).

But this Knight entreaty, like too many saving journalism proposals, inadequately addresses a far more important civic consideration.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

August 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized