Nichols discusses many familiar trends and ideas with an eye on journalism's role in democracy. He also notes the drain in the number of journalists actually reporting news in this country. I found myself nodding my head in reading this piece; as Nichols notes, journalism exists because people want it, and its value lies in gathering and disseminating credible information. Newspapers have a foundation of credibility that gives us an enviable base for the future, but as Nichols writes, the state of the industry separates to some degree the question of the future of journalism from the question of the future of newspapers. (My view is it's our game to lose). He writes:
"No matter what the fate of newspapers, developing new models for ownership of institutions that gather, analyze, comment upon and then distribute the news--be they newspapers, television stations, radio stations, websites or whatever the product of the next great technological leap--is essential to making sure that journalism survives and thrives.
"Much of the current media landscape would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago. Much of what will be is equally unimaginable. What is necessary now is a determination to insure that the media of the future deliver not merely for owners but for workers, news consumers and democracy. Perhaps newspapers really can survive in a form familiar to those of us who cherish them. But even if that is not to be, they must survive in a form that fosters a healthy transition from old media to new, and that preserves and, one hopes, improves journalism. The transition need not be tidy. It should embody the experimentation, adventurousness and glorious failures that our current crop of risk-averse publishers have shunned."