Posted at 11:34 AM on November 21, 2006
by Andrew Haeg
A San Francisco Chronicle editorial offers a tonic for a newspaper industry beleaguered by declining circulation and ad revenue, shrinking staffs, etc. The solution, writes journalist and lawyer Peter Scheer, is for news operations to embargo their content from being distributed online for free for a period of 24 hours.
Whether or not it's plausible newspapers could ever agree to do such a thing, that it would be legal if they did, or that such embargoes would ever hold fast, Scheer highlights a point that's becoming clearer to us in the media business: Original, edited, vetted and well written reportage is not only not going the way of the Dodo bird--it's becoming even more important in the age of participatory journalism, feedback loops (sound familiar?), and citizen journalism.
It's not that the new age of "social media" doesn't have the potential to revolutionize media, no argument there. It's that "user-generated" content generates a lot of heat and not much light without people there to synthesize it, make sense of it, write it, produce it. Without ... journalists. Of course, I may be biased here ...