The future of journalism

I felt a lot like my parents tonight. I spent a part of my Friday night watching PBS and IPTV. They watch the whole line up from 630p to 10p. You don’t call on a Friday night to chat until after 10 because they are watching the line up of shows.

Tonight I watched NOW on PBS. The future of journalism was the topic.

Several posts were written this week about the new book by Robert McChesney and John Nichols.

From the website:

Is good journalism going extinct? Fractured audiences and tight budgets have downsized or sunk many of the fourth estate’s major battleships, including this very program.

This week, NOW’s David Brancaccio talks to professor Bob McChesney and journalist John Nichols about the perils of a shrinking news media landscape, and their bold proposal to save journalism with government subsidies. Their new book is “The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again.”

Should journalism get the next government bailout?

Part of their idea is to provide a public subsidy for journalism. Yes, maybe a little bit like the BBC, but maybe a return to getting profits out of journalism. My old professor and friend Grant Price would say profits were the worst thing that ever happened to news.

I would like all my journalism friends to watch this program. Also anyone who reads a newspaper, listens to the radio, watches TV or reads any information on the internet. If you care about having quality information, unbiased reporting, watchdogs, presentation and not yelling, then take 25 minutes to view this program.

The discussion about the future of my trade is always happening.

We did discuss the future of media on the Iowa Journal in 2009. That discussion is almost outdated, but one that needed to be done.

Earlier Friday I served as a moderator on a media panel for Leadership Iowa. James Lynch of the Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Lynn Campbell of and Dave Price of WHO-TV were the panel, I just asked a few questions. This PBS Now program would be worth the time of the class to view this discussion. Thanks to the Leadership Iowa folks for the opportunity, it was a great time.

What do you think about this? Should we save journalism? Did corporations who bought in to the media game get out and stop seeking profits and help find more truth?

I don’t know if its true or not, but McChesney and Nichols said in the 1960s there was the same number of journalists and public relations people. Now the public relations
people to reporter/journalist ratio is now 3 to 1 in this country per 100,000 people. That’s discussion is about 5 minutes into the program

Steve Buttry of Gazette Communications had a busy week of blogging. Here’s a look at Pew Study of who is originating news content and Steve’s notes with the story.

The reason I started looking through his blog was this link. Five more reasons government shouldn’t subsidize journalism.

If you can, the PBS Now program will re-air on Iowa Public Television Sunday morning at 10a. Or, you can view it online here.

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