Dec 21, 2013
The Future of Journalism Is Written in Neon
Posted on Apr 13, 2010
He didn’t seem to mourn the change. Cooper himself has been an outsider journalist who, during the mainstream media’s glory days, didn’t have much respect for those who worked in it. “Is the moral imperative to protect the highest-grade journalists or produce the maximum amount of information in the public interest?” he asked. “This is the democratization of the media—fewer rich people at the top, a bigger base of the pyramid and lower pay.” He added, “Revolutionary periods are very rough until the new regime is consolidated.”
This is unsettling for a mainstream veteran like me. But I know it’s true. The news business is changing fast, but hopefully not for the worse. The new journalists won’t be lifers at places like the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and NBC. They’ll have had a variety of jobs. Some of the rookies will be restaurant servers or Starbucks baristas part of the time, just as actors are now. When they get full-time jobs, their bosses at websites, newspapers and broadcast stations may be the same kind of stupid tyrants you find in too many places today.
But the most talented, ambitious and lucky will survive. There are a few of them right now on the campuses of USC and many other colleges, and some not in college, getting ready to follow the difficult path of I.F. Stone from the bottom to the heights—not in pay, but in public service.
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