Friday, October 01, 2004

More journalism, less news

I hadn't navigated over to Tim Porter's "First Draft" in a while, but when I did today I discovered this wonderful essay that gets to what I think needs to be one of the critical distinctions in modern media -- that between news/information and journalism. Tim's take on things:

The "news media," singular, is an ever-growing, ill-defined collection of broadcasters, scribblers, shouters, saints and sinners, many operating purely out of self-interest, that, collectively, demands public attention and, individually, competes amongst itself for it, but is increasingly distrusted despite - or perhaps because of - all efforts to win public confidence.

Journalism is a subset of that clamor, something committed more or less intentionally and falling at various times on all points of the scale that extends from rubbish (some) to mediocrity (a lot) to excellence (a few).

We need less "news media" and more journalism ...

Public trust will return to newspaper journalism when newspaper journalists return to their core purposes, pursue them relentlessly and abandon the obsolete notion of competing against television, the Internet, etc. for the people's time. This fight is not about time. It's about credibility and commitment to community.

Read more.


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