Save journalism, not newspapers


In 2009, American IT writer Clay Shirky published a blog titled “Newspapers and thinking the unthinkable.” In the entry, Shirky concludes that today’s Internet era is responsible for a revolution in journalism.

Shirky argues that society needs journalism more than newspapers, which need to be replaced. However, he leaves the solution to this newspaper counterpart problem mystery unsolved.

So far, his primary remark is accurate: newspapers are vanishing. Only three months before Shirky wrote this post, the Los Angeles Times filed for bankruptcy. Similarly, several other papers across North America have followed suit.

News delivered over iPads is the future, said Alfred Slew, technology reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, “Journalism at its core is being helped by technology, not impeded.”

The Daily, a new iPad app designed by News Corp., is structured like a newspaper but it’s updated in real time. It gives both journalists and readers better tools to interact with each other and experience news beyond text.

Dan Moore, web application developer for Naymz, said, “What must change is the current business model for news. The idea is to let a hundred ideas bloom and see what takes root.”

Although information is found everywhere from blogs to iPads, cell phones, aggregator news sites like the Huffington Post, and online versions of major newspapers, it’s clear that journalism is headed in one direction: Online.

“First and foremost, I hearily agree with Shirky’s overall view,” said Marc Cooper, journalism professor at the USC Annenberg School, “News is becoming increasingly mobile. It might be smartphones, tablets, cloud-linked dumb terminals, Internet-integrated TV’s and computers, and most likely a combination of all plus some devices we have not yet imagined.”

Fixing the current business model is essential, according to Moore. It’s also a point that several other industry insiders agree on.

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