Wednesday, January 6, 2010

With even free lance pay down, where will journalism come from?

For some time my mantra has been "newspapers may die but journalism will live on." That's because I truly believe it is needed, at least in its traditional role of informing the public. I still believe that it's needed.

But for the first time I must admit to cracks in my belief about journalism living on. That's because to live, it needs support, and I don't see where it's coming from. Publishers have cut not only all the fat, but most of the muscle and are now into bone in their operations. Today, I read that free lance payments are at their lowest point ever.

The new media promoters are all over the place proclaiming that it doesn't matter if newspapers and magazines fold because we can get all the news we need from new media sources, blogs and aggregators. I read more blogs than most people (I check in with at least 40 a day) and look at the news aggregators regularly, but that's not how I keep track of what's going on because the blogs are all limited in scope, often opinionated, and few do good journalism. The aggregators like Google News or Yahoo News are limited by what they find. Far too often they are dominated by blogs or esoteric sites, many of them failing even the most elementary journalism tests of objectivity and attempts to completely cover issues.

If all the professional content providers like newspapers and magazines go away, where will the aggregators find news?

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