Out with the old...

During the past several years, journalism has been facing a spiraling downfall.  Journalists are frantically trying to save their field from a slow death by expressing their ideas of how to prevent extinction.  After reading numerous articles, I have found many excellent ideas and propositions on how to save journalism, that would be worthy of appearing in an enterprise.

On the Chronicle website, there is an article called “University-Based Reporting Could Keep Journalism Alive”, by Michael Schudson and Leonard Downie Jr.  The authors say, “the daily newspapers are producing less original news reporting than they did a decade ago.”  They go on to explain how the future of journalism appears to lie in the hands of America’s college students.  It would be inspiring to explain in the enterprise about how college students are taking the time and effort to write for school papers without pay.  It is their passion and they have faith in their future, so they want to prepare for it.  Not to mention, unlike professional paid journalists, these students have to balance working for the paper along with being a student and going to classes.  It would be good to also explain how journalism professors are teaching their young inspired writers.  Mark Shapiro of Colombia University puts his students right out into the city to come up with stories of their own.  He has designed a program called, “City Newsroom”, where he sends students to three of the different boroughs of New York City and asks them to come up with stories.  These stories are placed on a web site that may be viewed by thousands per day.  He wants to give his students the opportunity to write publicly, and feels writing about the boroughs is perfectly since he says they are, “woefully undercovered”, and sees it as “a void [that] we are going to rush to fill.”  Giving hopeful students an opportunity to show off their journalism skills to the public certainly is a way to prepare them for a future in journalism, and thus possibly preventing it from a slow death.

It would be important for the enterprise to provide tips for the success of aspiring journalists.  Renowned media critic Jay Rosen, wrote an article for PBS called, “Ready? Here’s My Formula for Online News Success.”  There are a few good points in the article that are worthy of appearing in my enterprise, all alluding to Rosen’s opinion that online journalism is the way to go.  One thought that he had, was that a journalist should have, “Absolute commitment to breaking news in coverage area by any means necessary”.  By blogging breaking news, a journalist will get more hits on his/her site, since a vast amount of people will be searching for the news.  What he means by absolute commitment is that one must be one hundred percent committed to getting the correct facts, as well as keeping his/her readers up to date as the breaking news story progresses.  With these steps, a journalist can gain trust by new readers and gain respect.  Another good idea that Rosen had, was to have, “Geo-tagged information: organized so that people can access it by location or via a map”.  It is good for an online news site or for freelance journalists to do this, so that people within the vicinity of the location of the story can easily find it.  With geo-tagged info, it is easier to gain readers who can relate to the story, therefore they have better criticism and appreciation for it.  If online journalism is the future, then Rosen’s advice is key to the success for current and aspiring journalists.

With the horrible current state of the media, it is vital that professional writers and professors at universities educate hopeful writers about how to save the future of journalism.  A collection of information and ideas would create a great enterprise that would properly inform journalists about how to prevent the demise of journalism.

...in with the new.