Journalism dead?

I just finished one post about why journalism matters. Dvorak also posted something related on his blog – Don’t Blame the Web When Newspapers Die.

Here’s a snippet from the original post:

Howard Stern has absolutely no problem discussing everything and anything happening in the world today. None. His listeners are without question better educated about the role of the FCC  along with any number of important relevant issues happening today, than viewers of the CBS Evening News. Kids and adults will listen to Howard. Why ? With Howard, you get a payoff. You know if there is an angle to be exploited to find the humor, irony or hypocrisy, he will find it.

Howard SternHaving a degree in journalism and mass communication myself, I’d like to take this opportunity to explain why I didn’t pursue a career in journalism.

During my junior year, I came home for the weekend. My father was very excited about the Sunday paper because there was an interview with him. In short, his department succeeded to establish a live TV connection to a nearby town for an important event. The key fact was they beamed it off different TV stations so they didn’t have to lay a single meter of cable (as originally planned).

Once the Sunday paper was out, he couldn’t wait to read the article. To his surprise and extreme disappointment, the article said that my father’s big accomplishment was that he laid over 30 kilometers of cable, which made the live TV connection possible.

Most of you will probably say the journalist should’ve checked his facts twice. You’re right, of course. At that exact moment, however, I realized something important: I could end up as a mediocre reporter in some local newspaper or radio station. I could see myself looking like a fool to anyone with half a brain and coming up with excuses about the time and budget constrains of professional journalism.

I wasn’t ready to embrace professional journalism then, and frankly, I haven’t warmed up to it in the 10 years since I left college. I love blogging though. As the saying goes, a living dog is better than a dead lion. (Ecclesiastes 9:4)


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