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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Today's Must-Read: Jeff Jarvis on What it Means to "Save" a Newspaper (It's Not All About Jobs)

Jeff "Blogboy" Jarvis talks a lot, writes a lot, has a lot of opinions and understands a lot that others don't. I don't always agree with him but I rarely find him anything less than well worth reading.

So today I check BuzzMachine.com and what do I find? Only a post that addresses the issue that underlies all the other issues when journalists talk about the future of their profession. What is really is all about is saving jobs in journalism for journalists.

Well, maybe not, says Jarvis:

"Saving journalism isn’t about saving jobs or even newspapers. In fact, the goal shouldn’t be just to save journalism but to grow it, expand it, explode it, taking advantage of all the amazing new means to gather and share news we have today.
"Start with the real goals, which are informing society, keeping power in check, improving people’s lives, making connections (right?) and then ask what the best ways are to do that today. After that, you can ask what the role of journalists and newspapers should be.
"Maybe we need fewer people in newsrooms and need to take money to hire a lot more people outside newsrooms to gather more news. Maybe we need to put resources into training those people or vetting their work.

"Maybe we simply need to recognize that news is no longer a monopoly business that can operate at monopoly margins and we need to prioritize where we put our resources. Maybe we need to look at online as a primary source of current news and at newspapers as a source of analysis and perspective and unique reporting.
"Maybe we can’t support daily newspapers everywhere. Maybe some of those journalists will become independent publishers (see: Debbie Galant at Baristanet) and newspaper companies will run ad networks."

And that is just the opening. There is so much of value in this post that I can't even begin to describe it. Go. Now. Read!