That’s one of the things that I think about when I’m talking to young journalists, is that so many of them are going to go into jobs that are not reporting jobs, or even editing jobs—they are aggregation jobs. That’s a worry. But at the same time that that’s happening, there’s been just a massive proliferation of new journalistic content. It’s not exactly what we had before, but there’s a huge explosion of blogs and a huge explosion of hyperlocal journalism, sometimes by amateurs—some of which is very synthetic, but some of which is very original.
So I’m not panicked about it in any sense. There is less of certain kinds of journalism today than there was five or ten years ago—the city newspaper entrepreneurial reporting projects have been really hurt. But while there’s less original foreign reporting by newspapers, on the other hand, there’s a huge amount of amateur foreign reporting. There’s great work that people are doing of synthesizing on-the-ground citizen journalism and making it into a useful product for a general-interest audience.
The Osama raid Twitter feed is a classic example—there’s a citizen who is monitoring what’s going on in his neighborhood and writing about it, and it reaches an international audience almost instantly. So while it’s true that no one got paid for that, except for people who repackaged it and sold advertising off of it, I suppose, it had this quality of bringing news out to the world in a quick and useful way. So yes, it’s harder now to be a young journalist, and the kinds of jobs that young journalists are going into are not always super desirable. But there’s no shortage of journalism and good news writing being created.
So you’re saying, things might seem bleak from a student’s perspective, but the news is a force that will happen no matter what.