The Reconstruction of American Journalism

What do you think of the report?

There’s no shortage of takes on the news industry’s ills, and on the possible strategies that could preserve and sustain costly reporting. Yesterday, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism released one such report by Michael Schudson, a communications professor at the school, and Len Downie, the former longtime editor of The Washington Post.

Downie and Schudson’s report, available as a 100-page PDF here, and in a more reader-friendly excerpt on CJR’s Web site, starts with a broad overview of the business models and animating philosophies of the many non-profit, for-profit, hybrid, and university-housed journalism startups that have come to life across the country in the last few years.

Schudson and Downie argue that these efforts are fragile, and are in danger of disappearing without significant financial help from private foundations and government.

The responses are rolling in, not only on CJR’s Web site, but in various newspapers, on Twitter, and on blogs.

But we’d like to extend an invitation to readers of the report to discuss its findings here. What do you think of Schudson and Downie’s diagnosis of the causes of journalism’s financial and readership declines? What about their summation of the state of play today? Which of their recommendations would you support and which give you pause? And, perhaps most importantly, what do you think this report misses or gets wrong about the past, present, and future of journalism?

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.