I recently chided Howard Owens for being rather “curmudgeonly” for stepping away from his blog and going to Twitter. But after reading Winston Wood’s essay in CJR and blogger William Lobdell’s 42 things I know, I’m beginning to see what Howard is talking about.
When did we turn into … as Sam Axe would say … “a bunch of bitchy little women?”
Wood and Lobdell make good points. The newspaper business model is broken. Thanks, but I’ve read that in hundreds of blogs … including my own … for at least the past two years. Does anybody have anything new to add to that? I think not.
A good number of journalists are leaving the profession. They’re leaving angry, bitter and disillusioned. I don’t blame them. I’m still a working journalist and I’m angry, bitter and disillusioned.
But instead of crying that “the model is broken,” why aren’t more of us looking at building a new model? Why aren’t we being more aggressive in finding a way to preserve the integrity of journalism, while realizing we also need to make money?
So here’s my challenge to all media bloggers, including the newcomers. let’s stop saying:
1. The newspaper business model is broken.
2. The Internet has zapped newspapers of its main revenue sources
1. People still want news, now more so than ever.
2. Great journalism is not dying, but it needs a makeover.
3. Editorial people cannot expect advertising to pick up the tab any more. Editorial needs to figure out a way to pay its own way.
And let’s work together to figure out:
1. How to continue great storytelling that meets our readers needs
2. How to turn the ivory tower business model into the “traffic cop” business model
3. How we can turn a profit on all of this.
Enough of the whining. We must stop throwing stones at the broken model. We must be a part of the solution.