Is there a future for serious journalism – except at panel discussions?

From Hill Times:

Ms. Drohan spoke to 40 people and conducted four roundtable discussions (in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary) but there was no consensus on the future of serious journalism. In her report, however, Ms. Drohan said she is “cautiously optimistic.”

“Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this report, Rogers Media cut 200 radio, television and publishing jobs, the Guelph Mercury, in business since 1867, stopped its presses for good, and Postmedia merged newsrooms and cut staff across the country. But my mood lifted after talking to younger journalists, people at online-only media outlets, those driving creativity at some traditional media outlets, and those creating new ones. Technology has lowered the barriers to entry for new media outlets. Less than two weeks after the Guelph Mercury stopped printing, GuelphToday, an online-only local news site, sprang into being,” she wrote. “I’ve ended up somewhere between the two extremes. I’m cautiously optimistic that serious journalism will survive the digital era, but believe there will be less of it and media outlets will be smaller. But to get there from here, journalists, media outlets, advertisers and governments first have to deal with some serious challenges. All of us have a stake in the outcome.” More.

Reality check: Stake in the outcome? Do you mean the stake that the internet drove through mainstream media’s heart?

Journalism today very frequently consists of marketing to the public ideas it does not really believe amid news it can discover elsewhere.

That’s mainly because the internet enables people to find out news and discuss the ideas they really do believe among themselves, without traditional media as gatekeeper. It is difficult to understand the Trump presidency bid, to take one example, without factoring that change in. Trump’s broad base of supporters aren’t crazy; they are simply so distant from mainstream media that they do not care what those sources tell them. That’s new.

Big media, whose investments are rapidly plunging in value, respond to the crisis by marketing–generally speaking–the world as seen by progressive governments, possibly in the hope of eventual rescue by government. But theirs is not a product readers need to buy, so they don’t. Citizens, whatever the outcome, are the new fourth estate.

See also: Memo to Dallas Morning News: Citizens are the new Fourth Estate


Local Correct Thought bastion Torstar Posts $234.5 Million Q4 Loss

Hat tip: Franklin Carter at the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee

  • When we see the press lie blatantly, time after time, whether about Islam, Trump or Trudeau how can they possibly be taken seriously?

  • SDMatt

    Name any other industry that doesn’t just ignore but actively demonizes half of its potential customer base. The media’s M.O. is a recipe for disaster, but they’re too stuck in their righteousness to stop doing it. Looking at it from the outside it’s outright insanity.

    Things like Vice are just more of the same: younger, hipper, but still aimed solely at the Huffington Post crowd.

  • David Murrell

    The organizer of this insipid media panel, Madelaine Drohan, is a nasty left-winger. She wrote a number of mean columns for the Globe and Mail way back when, and incredibly she was too left wing evn for tt newdppet.

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    Yet despite all this and so much more, Harper didn’t rid us of the CBC. Unforgivable.

    • Justin St.Denis

      I understand the difficulty of being the PM of a country wich is historically addicted to incrementelism in all things, but the CBC’s continued existence is a national shame.