For those of you interested in keeping up with the latest debates on the future of journalism, I recommend reading Jeff Jarvis, who blogs at Buzzmachine.com. The author of What Would Google Do?, Jarvis is a prof at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where he tries to infect students with the spirit of entrepreneurism (and some practical business sense.) This is not just smart; it’s a sign of sanity. Students with a journo degree can’t rationally expect to graduate into the welcoming arms of whatever media is still alive at the moment.
The message to emerging (and established) journalists is simple: It’s time to Be the Media You Wish to See in the World. Jarvis’ New Business Models for News Project is keeping track of a range of experiments in sustainable journalism. Jarvis spoke to Bob Garfield of On the Media about journalism education in this changing economy. It’s an interview worth 6 minutes of your time.
Also, deserving attention is Jarvis’ latest column in The Guardian, a powerful defense of the ethics of linking. He writes, “Linking is more than merely a function and feature of the internet. Linking is a right. The link enables fair comment. It powers the link economy that will sustain media. It is a tool for accountability. It is the keystone to free speech online.”
As someone who hails from public radio – now public media, I have always believed that information must be free, that accessibility is inextricably tied to public service. Public radio and TV know that people will support the news services they use, need, depend upon, and trust. Perhaps, for-profit media still need to earn that.