Welcome to The News Frontier.
It’s an anxious but exhilarating time for journalists. As the Web topples many long-held assumptions about both the news media and the business models that have, for decades, supported them, the ensuing tumult also offers myriad opportunities for entrepreneurship and reinvention.
The News Frontier, CJR’s exploration of the future of journalism in the digital age, will serve as a scout into journalism’s shifting news terrain. Here, we will survey and map the new media landscape. We will present original reporting on the new ways of gathering and presenting the news and new strategies to finance newsgathering. We will critique emerging editorial models and discuss the questions about standards and practices that those models provoke. We will analyze new structures for financing news, with one eye on pragmatism and the other on principle. We will curate some of the best general thinking about journalism’s future, on both the editorial and business sides, to provide an informed and collective vision of that future.
While we are optimistic about the possibilities that the digital age presents for information gathering and delivery, we believe as well that journalism’s future must be informed by the standards and values that have defined the best of its past. We hope The News Frontier will provide a place where the many debates about journalism’s prospects are contextualized, challenged, and inspired. The decisions made over the next few years will have lasting impact on the future of news; the stewards of that future must be mindful of the broader implications of their daily decisions, and able to look beyond the turmoil of today to imagine what can be tomorrow.
The moment, in other words, demands visionaries. We aim to help journalists—and all those who care about journalism—to be just that.