According to Benjamin Adair on Weekend America, the death of news is greatly exaggerated. [ReJurno: We jurnos believe that wholeheartedly.] He pointed out three myths:
1. News organizations aren’t making money.
“No, that’s not true at all,” says John Morton. Morton analyzes the newspaper industry and helps newspaper publishers figure out how to make money in this new economy….
“For the first nine months of this year,” explains Morton, “the average operating profit margin was 11 percent. There are some industries that can’t ever hope to get that high of a profit margin.”
It’s the big metros and chains, with their enormous debt, that are in trouble. Small to medium newspapers and some of those chains are doing fine.
2. The Internet, and Google, wants newspapers to die. That’s ridiculous, and Google’s Josh Cohen, who’s responsible for Google News pointed out that Google News wouldn’t be Google News without news organizations. [ReJurno: However, as those large metros shrink and/or collapse, we’ll see wholesale nichification of the news, and many organizations, including Google, anticipate that.
3. Newspapers are dying, so journalism is dying.
“Journalism is very much still still alive,” says Neil Henry. He’s the dean of the journalism school at the University of California Berkeley. Not only is it still very much alive, Henry says it might be “at the dawn of a
tremendous rebirth.” Newspaper newsrooms can be very sad and depressing these days, Henry says, but he tells his students that times of great tumult have always meant really good things for journalism.
Right on, Neil! The Internet and the Web are the best inventions ever for journalism. We jurnos can serve our communities so much better, and do better storytelling. The key is to understand this new medium, and all it can do. For a handy primer (and a larger version of that cool image of the Internet), just click on the Web Traits tab at the top of this blog, or link from here.