We face, as Alan Rusbridger puts it, “some kind of emergency,” and we think that some of the differences the respondents have with us concerns characterizing that emergency, and identifying just how profound it may be. Other differences have to do with just how to name the key distinctive features of the emerging new journalistic scene. Rusbridger’s notion of mutualized news (cited in the report) seems a well-chosen word. Others have discussed more horizontal than vertical newsgathering and news dissemination, more interactivity in the process of reporting, and a thoroughly mixed blend of shoe-leather reporting, telephone reporting, Googling all day long, and the kind of database reporting made more and more possible by online resources.

You really can do first quality reporting in smaller news organizations with fewer reporters than you could have a decade ago. You can’t in any sustainable way do it without organizations that pay people to report. What impressed us is that there are so many interesting experiments going on that are trying to make such organizations work.

 

Michael Schudson teaches at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.