The State of the News Industry Blog
March 20, 2009, 7:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

When my dad was a child, he liked to play with paper.  He would cut it up and organize it into stacks.  I know this because my dad firmly believes that people should look to their childhoods for career inspiration.

That is how I ended up as a journalism major at the University of Colorado.  As a child, I was a fanatical storyteller and a voracious reader.

My dad’s affinity for paper led him to a career in printing.  He has owned a printing company for the last thirty years, and he has relished every last minute of it.

I never quite understood my dad’s obsession with printing, but it defined me nonetheless.  Until recently, I wholeheartedly believed that hard working people could make a stable, secure living pursuing their passions. 

Unfortunately, the bad economy and the Internet are driving my dad out of business. While he has not officially closed up shop yet, it is only a matter of time.

My parents are now close to bankrupt.  They have lost all of their retirement savings and have recently put our family home up for sale, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

These changes have rocked me to the core, and as a result, I have lost my sense of self.  When expressing my fears and frustration to a former professor, he gave me an invaluable piece of advice: Crises are nothing more than new opportunities.

This piece of advice immediately came to mind as I was reading Clay Shirky’s blog post and Stephen Johnson’s speech.

The crisis that the journalism industry is currently facing is really nothing more than an opportunity to improve its increasingly outdated and inefficient model. 

The cornerstones of journalism, such as informing the public, will never disappear.  Throughout history, enterprising minds have found ways to fulfill the watchdog function, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so in the future. 

No one knows what the future of journalism will look like.  When it is all said and done, the new model may change the industry so drastically that stodgy traditionalist no longer consider it journalism.

Personally, I am excited by the prospects.  I am not afraid of the changes that are coming because I know that I have the skills necessary to produce creative, innovative content, whatever it may be.  In this regard, my fellow journalism students and I actually have a leg up on many seasoned journalists.  

I admit that not knowing what the future holds makes me a bit apprehensive, but ultimately, we have a unique and exciting opportunity: the opportunity to mold the future of journalism.



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