Possible leadership for impossible journalism?

October 8, 2008

The decline of print journalism, and the rising of its digital counterpart on the Web, has become progressively more prevalent this decade, but none more so than in the past year or two. Papers are shutting down, papers are laying off employees, papers are cutting costs at the expense of coverage.

Fast forward five to 10 years: Huh? What’s a newspaper?

So if it seems inevitable that print will soon disappear into the Internet void (or, looking at it optimistically, upgrade to the Internet), who will lead?

An editorial penned by Knight Digital Media’s David Westphal considers this. There are editors stepping down with the feeling they can’t keep up with fast-paced Web publishing. Regardless, should news outlets seek out, in specific, editorial teams that can best serve the digital age?

Pretty soon, we’ll arrive at a generation of newsroom employees who have never worked for a paper that held its own print incarnation. There might be some cub reporters in a couple of decades or so who will have never even held a newspaper in their hands.

Westphal’s analysis is here:

http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/davidwestphal/200810/1540/

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