Panic at the Newsrooms!


Maybe it is Time to Panic


Why news organizations have to act much more boldly if they are to survive


É a partir da ideia que os orgãos de comunicação devem ser mais corajosos que Carl Sessions Stepp, editor do American Journalism Review , e professor no Philip Merrill College of Journalism da Universidade de Maryland, escreveu este artigo, onde aborda os principais receios existentes nas redacções, e que caminhos se podem tomar para que o jornalismo do futuro seja uma actividade viável economicamente, sem que fuja às suas responsabilidades. A ler com atenção.

It´s from the idea that news organizations need to be more bold that Carl Sessions Stepp , AJR’s senior editor, and teacher at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, wrote this article, where he talks about the main fears that dwell in the newsroomss, and what measures can be taken in order for the journalism of the future can be economically viable, without leaving it’s responsibilities behind. To read carefully.

For all their jaded posturing, journalists want to preserve something that has worked for two centuries: news media that can both make acceptable profits and perform essential public services.

“The business model of newspapers that we all grew up with has blown up,” Willse said. Now the issue is: “What is it that we have that is truly of value? What can we do that people are willing to spend something to get, even if it’s just time?”

The next step calls for newspeople to focus their formidable collective brainpower on a quantum leap forward in quality and service. It probably won’t cost nearly as much as they fear; from Gutenberg to Google, world-changing ideas have come from unknown upstarts with more imagination than money. The results can be transforming.

What has changed profoundly is not the role of journalists – as trusted monitors, watchdogs and guides – but their position.

Journalists no longer control content and format. Anyone with a computer can become a publisher. An independent blogger can scoop the pros. A kid with a cell phone can distribute the day’s most compelling video.

In short, the challenge is this: News organizations need to think more imaginatively, turn duress into motivation and make their content irresistible and their business operations unstoppable. And fast.

While most news organizations remain profitable, they are rapidly losing ground in readership, revenue and Web popularity.Now is not the time to panic, of course…Wait. Now is exactly the time to panic.

The guiding principles would be these:

• Make it better not worse

• Make it astonishingly, irresistibly better

• Make it easier, not harder, to use and enjoy

• Involve everyone from school kids to staff members to senior subscribers in the ultimate group science project of creating the greatest news outlets imaginable.

You also need a vision. For most local news organizations, the vision is to become the community’s central source of dependable information services in any and all formats.

“Even in hard times,” James O’Shea wrote on losing his job as editor of the Los Angeles Times early this year, “wise investment – not retraction – is the long-term answer to the industry’s troubles.A dollar’s worth of smart investment is worth far more than a barrel of budget cuts.”

Maybe it is Time to Panic
By Carl Sessions Stepp


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Março 2008

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