Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Director's Notes: The Future of Journalism

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

  • How We Do It. This week, we have posted new copy on our Web site
    that provides insight into the Journalism Program's grantmaking activities. The updated information includes our strategy, the initiatives we fund, how to apply for a grant and the timing of our grant cycle. Please comment on this blog item if you have questions or need more information.

      • The Real Deal. Despite the proliferation of local news outlets, most of the heavy lifting still comes from daily newspapers. Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism recently issued a detailed study on the "News Ecosystem" of Baltimore. The research suggests that while the news landscape had rapidly expanded, "most of what the public learns is still overwhelmingly driven by traditional media---particularly newspapers." Pew said the close examination of six major stories during a seven-day period finds that much of the "news" people receive contains no original reporting. About 80 percent of the stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information. But the sad fact is that newspapers in Baltimore and everyplace else are producing far fewer news stories by far fewer staff members.
      • News Source. While it's nice to know that most real news comes from newspapers, veteran media analyst Alan D. Mutter reminds us that "the population of print newspaper readers will drop by nearly a third within 15 years and probably be less than half the size it is today by the time 2040 rolls around." Mutter's “Newsosaur” blog said consumer demand will decide the fate of newspapers. While younger people still value newspapers as a source for local news, their loyalty trails off sharply when it comes to national and international coverage.
      • Saving Journalism. Everyone agrees that a free society requires a free press, according to political blogger John Nichols and University of Illinois journalism professor Robert McChesney. In "The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers" in The Nation, the co-authors warn that a free press without the resources to compensate those who gather and analyze the like a seed without water or sunlight. Their new book examines "The Death and Life of American Journalism."

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