Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is the Monitor a vision of 1 future 'norg'?

Alex Beam has a thoughtful column in the Boston Globe today looking at The Christian Science Monitor and how it might be the pattern for at least one type of future newsroom (he uses the term newspaper, but I prefer news organization ("norg" in some quarters).

He makes some good points -- the focus is on context, yet the paper does get a share of breaking news. It's carved out a niche -- international coverage. And it is a blend of advertising and private support (though the advertising is so weak it is primarily support from the church).

Worth reading and considering.

(I do have some quibbles with the Monitor. I love reading Ruth Walker's posts, formerly called Verbal Energy. But since the Monitor went to its new Web system, there's no easily identifiable way I've found to get an RSS or e-mail feed. And the only way to find them is to search for "Ruth Walker." Wouldn't it be great to have a tag "other columns by the author"?)

Meanwhile, if you want another of David Sullivan's excellent insights into newspapering then and now, read his "The News in 1967 - How Technology Changed It." It's a good reminder, as always, that the industrial model of the newspaper had -- and still does have -- a tremendous role in shaping what really should be a service business. It's important to read David's posts because you really can't understand where we are without understanding where we've been and how it all pretty much went to hell in 2 1/2 decades.

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