Jeffrey Goldberg’s recent Atlantic interview with Tribune innovation guru Lee Abrams provides an unique insight. Yes, as a journalist it does scare me that someone in charge of reinventing a newspaper empire was unaware that the major papers of the group would actually have reporters in Iraq.
But, one point that probably went unnoticed is his insistence that journalists “liberate themselves” from the past. That’s a point that needs to be highlighted. Yes, as journalists we need to recognize our past and the achievements, but instead of looking at the future darkly, we should be viewing the future as a renaissance of the craft.
The internet has opened up a termendous opportunity for journalists to expand their storytelling pallete. We should realize that storytelling is no longer just words. The future journalist can utilize words, numbers, graphics, photos, videos, lists, maps, forums, and many others tools. A journalist in the new world will know how to use all these new tools, and what tools will best tell the story.
And, most importantly, the journalist will welcome reader reaction and encourage it. We are no longer the ivory tower, but the discussion moderator.
The evolution of journalism is exciting for those who embrace it. And it is also very liberating.