Save the journalists!

“Diligence is the mother of success.”

The daily drum beat of newspaper cuts and financial woes leads one to wonder – what will happen to the future of journalism?  If, as a society, we believe we don’t need to pay for a newspaper to get news – that we can get the news online for free! – then sooner or later there will be no money available to pay journalists for their craft.

But no journalists eventually means no news reporting.  Unless you count “citizen journalists” (which I don’t) or “info-tainers” that are multiplying daily on the 24-hour cable opinion (please don’t call them news) shows.

Why have we become so unwilling to pay for good journalism?  Why are we so willing to accept any online source of information as credible, fact-checked news?  I recently watched as an AP story with incomplete and inaccurate information bicycled around the Internet, being re-reported as fact.  Did any local “reporter” or blogger bother to go out and check the information they were “reporting” on?  It’s pretty obvious the answer is no.  And that should be a great concern to all of us.

As PR practioners, we hold ourselves up to very high standards of journalism and ethics.  We only communicate facts that can be substantiated and supported – our reputations depend on this.  Perhaps this is why I become so sad to see the quality of journalism declining in our newspapers and on our televisions.  But good reporters deserve to be paid for their talents, and since no one wants to pay for the news anymore…well, you see where this is headed.

Someone with a cell phone and a Twitter account is not a journalist.  Someone who likes to blog is not a journalist.  The info-tainers on cable are not journalists.  The shock jocks are not journalists.

Forget the whales…Save the Journalists!!

Who wants to join me…

~ by chuckmattina on June 9, 2009.

2 Responses to “Save the journalists!”

  1. It’s a sad and far scarier thought that our news could become more inaccurate and more partisan. If the credible news sources go away, who then will be paying those left dispersing the news? Makes you wonder if they will have an agenda…

  2. It’s unfortunate that newspapers offered online editions for free yet charged for print editions over the years. It seems that this would have been common sense…what a poor business decision. Your posts have made me realize how important the future of journalism is. The words of Joseph Pulitzer repeated by John Kerry last month say it all, “Our Republic and its press will rise and fall together”. That is a scary thought!

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