More Thoughts On Saving Newspapers…

…from the former and current editors of Vanity Fair. (And, coincidentally, both accounts involve London’s The Daily Telegraph!)

Tina Brown, quoted in The Telegraph:

[Brown] accepts that in this time of change, web-based journalism may lack the resources that newspapers have to do serious investigative work, and it is that that she fears losing. “We may need some sort of private public partnership to sponsor certain kinds of journalism,” she says.

“It’s always going to be in the public interest to do that sort of journalism but it’s never going to appeal to advertisers. So it may need either some sort of BBC approach to it, or some sort of philanthropic partnership, or some sort of trust; or company sponsorship of investigative work, like sponsoring television programmes. Maybe that’s a model. Everything has to be tried.”

“I think at this point it’s all about innovative approaches. I think we’re involved in a very, very scary transition, where nothing seems to be working financially, but I’m absolutely confident that a new model will emerge…”

“I think we’re going to get to the stage where a lot of journalists have other jobs as well.”

(I think we’re at that stage already.)

More Brown:

“Where it’s really hard is if you want to get a really digging piece going on the whole banking collapse that takes two journalists six months…”

That— sustaining that — is the challenge, the problem to solve.

Maybe that — time- and resource-consuming journalism, and more of it — is the solution!

Graydon Carter:

“[A]ren’t you just a bit tired of reading about the demise of newspapers?…[G]et on a big story with widespread public appeal, devote your best resources to it, say a quiet prayer, and swing for the fences.”

You know, get

“45 staff members and numerous lawyers [to spend] two months in a secured area of the paper’s offices, secretly preparing an epic series for publication…”

…devoting “120 broadsheet pages” to the story, just like The Telegraph did with its MPs’ expenses story.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.