There has always been a view in the journalism industry that journalism educators should really be producing a better class of word technician. We heard a little of that at the Journalism Education conference , from some members of the industry panel who reckoned that what they needed was future journalists expert in the Dickensian skills of shorthand and writing news copy designed for the telegraph.
I have heard worse. I remember a celebrated JEA conference on the Gold Coast , when the cadet trainer, as he was styled, from the Brisbane Courier Mail got up before us and said he’d looked at all the university journalism courses and in his words, “they are all bullshit”!
“Why are they bullshit?” he asked.
“Because they don’t teach spelling and punctuation!” More…
Media organisations should ride the internet wave, not try to turn back the tide, according to Mark Scott, the Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Speaking at the Journalism Education Conference in Sydney, Scott attacked Rupert Murdoch’s firewalls around News content.
The boldest paywall experiment is underway globally with [Murdoch's] The Times in London. But as Clay Shirky points out, before the paywall went up the two Times websites had
roughly six times more readers than there were print sales of the paper. Post paywall, the web audience is less than a sixth of print sales and the paying web isless than a twentieth of print sales, possibly far less. And at the same time, circulation for the print editions of these newspapers has continued to decline at the same dramatic rate as other papers in the UK market.
With so much content available free online, there would be a struggle to obtain a price for content, unless it was “extraordinarily distinctive”. In the UK, because non-subscribers could not read Times stories forwarded by friends or those linked through Twitter or Facebook, the stories remained locked in a very limited and narrow world speaking only to itself. More…
Mainstream journalism has failed the public interest, reckons author, Martin Hirst. Citizen journalism is too feeble to provide a viable alternative. The future looks grim.
Fortunately, Dr Hirst believes that pessimism of the intellect should be coupled with optimism of the will.
Dr Martin Hirst is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the Auckland University of Technology. A former Sydney journalist, he’s previously co-published a book on journalism ethics.
Hirst’s new book,News 2.0, asks whether journalism can survive the internet? His brief is broad and his arguments impeccable. But ultimately he provides only qualified answers. More…