You’ve spoken of the new world order of journalism. Please describe what that means to you. What are you most intrigued by?
There’s been radical change. Journalism used to be a product — a newspaper, a magazine, a broadcast. Now it’s a process — a conversation between the content providers and the people formerly known as the audience, to use Jay Rosen’s memorable phrase. Anyone can be a journalist now — or at least commit an act of journalism. Journalism is now decentralized and democratized, a far cry from when we were the gatekeepers, the filters. Heck, you can sit on a park bench and read The Guardian as easily as The New York Times — and do it on your mobile phone or iPad, complete with high-definition video and personalized information. You can blog, podcast, tweet, Skype, crowd-source, mine data, and follow sources in Moscow or Cairo. My head is spinning.
How do you envision the future of journalism education?
We have to continue preaching the eternal verities of traditional journalism — reporting, writing, critical thinking, and ethical values — while teaching all the new techniques of multimedia: interactive journalism on various platforms using social media for reporting and distribution. We’ll probably use more online modules for teaching the new tools. And we have to get students thinking of new business models to sustain quality journalism in the digital age. Our profession is in crisis — not a crisis of journalism per se, but a crisis of financial support for what we do.
If you were still editing it, what would you put on the cover of BusinessWeek this week?
I think Josh Tyrangiel, the editor since Bloomberg acquired it, is doing a darn good job. I’m happy to leave the choices to him.