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the death of newsprint (?) but not of news

March 10, 2008

A fellow media adviser just sent me a wonderfully written piece on the death of print media from the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s so worth a read.

I’m just old enough–39–that my allegiance will always be with newsprint. And I believe there will always be print-oriented news-geeks like me in the world. (I count five on my current news staff.) But as progress pulls us away from paper and into the ether of the Internet, I’m hopeful that the drive to create in-depth news will remain. Whether it exists online or in print, it’s the news, reporting, investigation and writing that matter. Good writing might become niche, but I can’t (i.e. don’t like to) imagine a world where it doesn’t exist and influence public discourse.

There was a fun piece in the NY Times yesterday about bloggers in D.C. The story starts with a group of 20- and 30-somethings sitting around in a DC “blogger’s flophouse,” typing on their laptops, watching the Ohio/Texas primary results coming in, slugging beer and simultaneously posting to blogs for several national publications.

It’s a new world, sure, but that also sounds a lot like the whiskey-in-the-drawer-from-the-gut-non-corporate journalism that I hoped I’d find in my first newsroom but certainly didn’t.

I haven’t looked into whether any of these bloggers went through J-school or worked for their campus papers, but I’d put down a fiver that they did. And, if they did, they’re certainly looking to blend the personal tone of blogging and the objectivity of great journalism.

For my money, that future doesn’t look too bad.

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