Senate Calls in the Bigwhigs to Solve Journalism

Steve Coll2

Steve Coll (photo: New America)

In an effort to stabilize the suffering journalism industry, the U.S. Senate met with several prominent journalists.  These people included: David Simon, former Baltimore Sun writer and creator of the The Wire, Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, and Steve Coll, Pulitzer Prize winner and President of the New America Foundation.

Coll opened his statement by saying journalism has entered a stage of “creative destruction”, a term used by economist Joseph Schumpeter, it’s kind of an oxymoron.

Think about the term “creative”, here it refers to the vast and various ways in which we have seen journalism grow over time.  News travels faster than ever and can be accessed by a small device in the palm of your hand.  No longer does one desiring news have to wait for the next day’s morning paper, if you’re not careful you might miss an update on your Blackberry.

Although brief, the ways in which journalism reaches others have grown greatly.  But now consider that Coll also used the term “destruction”.  With all of this new and inevative media, the future of journalism has never been scarier.  The original news media source, the newspaper, has been struggling for years.  It now appears to be on it’s last legs, with the majority of news being available online.  The demand for a newspaper, along with the advertising money that goes with it, has disappeared. 

“Unfortunately, at present, the rate of destruction of professional journalism – and its output of independent reporting on American public institutions and  on international affairs – is far outpacing the ability of new institutions to reproduce what is being lost, particulary in its civic functions,” Coll told the Senate.

Later in his statement to the Senate, Coll claims the government should be the one to help the journalism industry.  He also submits the idea of a non-profit organization stepping in to help the situation.  While both seem to be certainly possible, my inclanation is to disagree.

I’m no professional when it comes to this subject and how to fix it.  I believe that if this is ever to be solved or even improved, that the source isn’t someone or something that the world is familiar with.  I see it coming from a small news media, one that has been able survive on its own plan.  That plan then becomes implemented into the national scale. 

That’s how I see it.  Although I’m no expert, or maybe the Senate would have called me too.

Below is a video called “What’s Killing the Newspaper and Who Will Save It?”, which includes comments from Steve Coll.

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