Entrepreneurial journalism and the future roles of journalists
I’m reading Ellyn Angelotti‘s summary of the discussions during the recent Journalism That Matters conference, wishing I had been there. It is written in an optimistic tone, and the focus is on journalistic entrepreneurship.
Several journalists said they wonder if their news organizations are still too dependent on their old business models to create innovative journalism. Chris Peck, editor of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., responded that if they feel that way, they should strike out on their own.
In a time when layoffs are plentyful – atleast in the States, but the economic crisis might mean we’ll have our share here in Sweden too – maybe this is the way to go for some of the people that find themselves outside of traditional media. The big media companies here in Sweden seem to be preparing for a model with fewer employees and more temporary hired workers, if Aftonbladet/Minimedia’s new temp agency is anything to go by. We’ve seen independent journalists starting blogs that has become successful enough to relaunch their careers, such as Niklas Svensson‘s (et al) Politikerbloggen, now part of TV4. And of course blogging is also an entry point into journalism for people without academic training but with a passion for their subject and the talent of writing interesting stuff.
One of my great sources of inspiration about citizen media and the future of journalism, Dan Gillmor, is now running the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, another sign that independent journalistic innovators are needed in the future media landscape.
I’m certainly hoping recently laid off journalists can find the enthusiasm and inspiration to take this step. We need more journalists involved in the innovation online.
Well, back to Angelotti and the Journalism That Matters conference. She points to a set of interviews made by Jackie Hai, a student at the University of Massachusetts. She’s asked a number of the participants what they think is the role of the journalist in this new network of information and community of readers. It’s well worth checking out.
Also read Jackie’s blog post “Journalists: It’s time to be the phoenix”. Good stuff.