We have not (yet) instituted a “Quote of the Week” feature here on Medialoper, but if we were to do so, this would win hands down.
t would be too bad if the elders of the news business decided that the way to apply the marvels of the Internet to their operations was by a bold new push for reporting that’s hasty, fragmented and half-baked. It would be even worse if redirecting newsrooms to online news ended up by degrading the working conditions of journalists and diverting energies away from the kind of richly detailed, thoughtful reporting that exemplifies the best in journalism.
Because we do not have this feature, let me simply say, “Oh my, someone doesn’t get it.” We do not live in an either/or society. We haven’t lived in a society where news comes from newspapers and television is the poor stepchild for a long time. People access news in many ways and many forms. There’s an entire generation growing up digital. They get their news online. They do not sit down and read the morning paper; the morning paper is out-of-date by the time morning comes. News happens all the time. Print publishing — and I am a huge fan of the newspaper — doesn’t meet the needs of a global lifestyle.
Yeah, we can wait, but we don’t. We’re human.
People who fear the 24/7 immediacy of the new media are really missing the point. There is still room for in-depth reporting — perhaps now more than ever (if the news media can extricate itself from the corporate bonds that create inherent conflicts). There is, now more than ever, a need for serious news analysis. Reporting the facts is all well and good, but what do those facts mean? Television news doesn’t offer this; newspapers, when they’re good, do. And just because the news is pushed online, that doesn’t change the nature of news reporting.
Let’s face facts (they are more fun than you realize): we have a generation raised on newspapers with some television, we have a generation raised on nightly news with some newspaper, and we have a generation — a generation that reads more than you realize — raised online. The news media cannot afford to be precious about one medium over another. It’s all media now.
Your choice how you report — depends on the audience(s) you want to reach.