newsflash: media needs to embrace change

With the topsy-turvy nature of our economy lately, it's no surprise change is finally knocking on the media industry's door. In a Market Watch article today, Jon Friedman explains that another side effect of the times has lead to the decreased value of media celebrity, with CNBC's Jonathan Wald as a cautionary tale.

But what really bothered me was the following logic:
What this means to the public is that journalism quality is going to sink. TV stations will try to hire younger, less experienced, less sophisticated news professionals as a way to keep costs down.
Did Friedman really just say that? Yes, yes he did. An eternal optimist and relentless advocate for giving new talent a chance, I have many qualms with the above paragraph.
  • One: Okay, okay - journalism will change because of the influx of novice reporters. But that's a good thing. Journalism has been in dire need of a makeover for some time. We're no longer living in an era of good ole boy newsrooms with reporters old enough to be my grandfather. Somehow, the industry missed that headline.
  • Two: Fresh minds mean fresh ideas. For example, maybe we'll see more integration with social media, like Twitter feedback from viewers on the ticker at the bottom of the screen.
Think of how the Bush administration communicated with constituents over the past eight years. Now think about Obama's communication methods during just the first few weeks in office. That's one big breath of fresh air - and one that was long overdue.
  • Three: What if Barbara Walters was never given a chance? Even the great Miss O herself was once wet behind the ears. Point is, there are bright, eager journalists out there with brilliant ideas but without a platform from which to execute them.
What it boils down to for me is that being young and inexperienced is not a weakness. It's an opportunity - not only for the new grad entering the workforce, but also for the employer smart enough to hire a change agent when they meet one.


  1. Here's where I see journalism:

    1.) Less revenue
    2.) More investigative reporting from young and old alike

    Reason being:
    Local lifestyle, sports, etc. is being covered continiously by bloggers. So, the edge that print newspapers will have will be what journalism was in the beginning: investigative.

    Read this post by Seth Godin: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/01/when-newspapers.html


what's your opinion?