Similarly, news companies and journalists need to think in a long-term, holistic way about the Internet. Decisions and behavior that may seem to make a lot of business sense can be harmful to the entire Internet ecology—and thus the future of journalism—in the medium to long term.

Journalism schools can play an important role in helping news organizations and journalists think about sustainability, but not only in terms of creating a “sustainable” business model for their company. Institutions dedicated to the future of journalism must take the lead in helping the news business—and the journalists and media entrepreneurs of the future—achieve greater awareness and clarity around critical questions for the future of both journalism and democracy more broadly. How do we make sure that short-term thinking does not corrode the Internet’s long-term value? What kinds of practices will contribute to Internet openness and freedom?

News organizations must contribute sustainably and responsibly to a free and open global Internet so that many more generations of journalists can survive and thrive.

Watch MacKinnon’s speech here:

Watch live streaming video from columbiajournalism at livestream.com

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Rebecca MacKinnon is a journalist, co-founder of Global Voices Online, and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. She is author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom.