This speech by Columbia j-school's head Steve Coll sounds like a real knee-slapper. Not a single original idea or one that would be helpful to a dead profession.
The article about it begins this way:
Journalism is facing threats from populism, authoritarianism and information distributed for free via social media, including fake news, warned Steve Coll, dean of journalism school at Columbia University, at an event in Tokyo on Monday.
I see, news producers are completely blameless? Nice try. Why can't people tell the difference between real and "fake" news? Because the quality has gone to nil in the former. And authoritarianism has always bee with us -- more so in the past than it has now -- and now it is a problem?
In all these decades, the profession never developed a system to overcome it?
It goes on to a very interesting problem:
The former Washington Post editor urged journalists to stand up to the challenge, adding that the key to the industry's revival will be connecting with young generations who are on the cusp of adulthood and who will go on to reshape politics. Young people consume news through social media and on their smartphones, unlike older generations who grew up with print newspapers.
There will be "fierce competition over who makes and delivers the news to the young generations," he said. "But to rebuild journalism for the next generation, to insist on excellence and transparency and quality, is an urgent project."
Connecting to young generations? That ship has sailed. To connect with them would require a different mindset -- and connecting with their parents when they were young to do it.
And "fierce" competition? From what? Youth were neglected by journalism, and social media became their own news network. They don't want or need journalism because it never spoke to them or understood them. You can't just rope in a few young naive journalists to work with you, and think it will magically resurrect the profession.
This sounds like someone overhearing conversations from critics and now trying to co-opt those ideas with absolutely no core of understanding, making any implementation useless.
Journalism never grew. It never changed. It never blossomed and it never had roots. It was a tumbleweed that stood in place because there were no winds of change.
When those winds came, journalism was destroyed.
The speech is just hot air coming from someone who actually doesn't get the profession.
Journalists never got journalism. They don't understand its purpose. When they are in trouble, they always blame everyone else, and then speak in some vague babble from someone with a title about how to get more readers.
Hello! You have been doing that trick for decades, and the ratings and circulation keeps going down...as the population increases.
It's the reality of the situation. It's the truth.
And you're supposed to report on the world around you, and you don't see it?
That's how you kill a profession.