The people who will shape the future of news in the new order are already hard at work doing so – with their ideas, their arguments, their actions. The discussion plays out day by day on dozens of specialized blogs, moment-by-moment in Twitter streams of engaged journalists and thinkers. It plays out in newsrooms – newspaper newsrooms, unique new media like TPM, hybrids in-between – with every turn of the cycle. Grizzled veterans and over-confident rookies, categorical prophets and cynical pessimists all play a role.
You can either participate in that process, stand aside quietly and wait for a resolution, or get rolled.
When people ask "If you were my age, would you be in the news business?" I answer unequivocally, "Yes, and for the same reasons I got into it in the first place."
- I always wanted to have a career that let me make a difference in my community, promote fairness, explain how things worked;
- I wanted to work around smart, articulate, smart-ass people.
- I wanted to have fun.
- And I wanted to feel like my life's work had made a difference.
The future of news will be decided in this generation. If we manage to sustain the core principles of public service journalism, being part of that effort will be a worthy legacy for any of us. How cool would it be to look back one day and say, "At the point where it really mattered, when many others had left or moved on, I was on the field"?
The media sites on the blogroll down the right side of this page (slightly outdated, but then so am I) offer a good starting point for those who'd like to dive into the thinking and argument now going on about the future. At the moment I am particularly taken with Matt Thompson's newsless.org, though I haven't got my brain completely around it yet.