Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Looking Back and Forward 

There is a thoughtful piece on internet journalism in the current New Yorker that PR practitioners should read. The author does a good job of describing the current state of reportage and opinion online and relates it to the history of journalism. He then extrapolates to the future and points to a time when opinion will be calmer and reporting better. It's guaranteed to upset those who believe internet journalism is a whole new medium destined to wipe out traditional reporting.

I happen to concur with the views of the writer. The internet is a low-cost medium that invites self-publishing, but it isn't a revolution destined to change the world forever. Newspapers are shrinking and other traditional publishing media are stressed because of the availability of news online, but reporters won't go away. Sooner or later, many will migrate online and practice their craft there. This is exactly what is happening at traditional media like The Wall Street Journal where reporters are doing audio and video interviews for the journal's web site. The Journal online has a powerful voice and credibility that citizen journalism has yet to achieve.


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