Closing Time and Final Thoughts on the Future of Journalism

 

One of my personal highlights: Being listed next to the likes of Reuters, NPR, and The New York Times at the media website Mediagazer.

by Matthew L. Schafer

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read a little bit about the media world at Lippmann Would Roll.  I hope that you learned something new.  I know that in all of the researching and writing I definitely did.

I wanted to write to you today to let you know that tonight’s post at LWR will be the last in what has been a series of daily posts over the last several months.  Other obligations will, unfortunately, prevent me from allotting the time it takes to bring you deep contextual information about the day’s media events.  I will, however, be writing sporadically about events that are especially important to the development of the media ecosystem and I encourage you to subscribe (via the bottom right of this page) so you don’t miss those posts.

To give you an idea of the run that Lippmann Would Roll has had, I think some numbers are in order.  Over the past two months, LWR has been visited by almost 1,700 readers.  Articles on LWR have been indexed on over 22,000 different webpages.  Additionally, at Ground Report, an independent website that carries each of my posts, over 20,000 people have read or viewed my articles.  Both the ombudsperson at NPR and the president of the Society of Professional Journalists have recognized various stories published to LWR.  I’m chalking this experiment up as a success.

For fear of adding another opinion to the future of journalism, I have not written an article about my views on the subject.  I think, however, that this is both an appropriate topic and time to address the issue here at LWR.

First, the conversation is too often boiled down to whether or not we should save newspapers.  New media supporters argue that we should let the dinosaur die, but this misses the point.  What saving newspapers means in large part is saving the structure that more than any other news outlet supports the process that is journalism.  While blogs have their place, Twitter has its place, and opinon journalism has its place, they do not replace traditional enterprise journalism–at least not yet.

Many of the new media advocates, similar to the adolescent stage that new media is at right now, seem to be fighting with traditional journalism as if they were teenagers fighting with their parents.  These advocates act as if new media is the savior and that it doesn’t need any help from traditional journalism.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  What we need more than ever is to work together.  Indeed, the combined power of traditional journalism, blogs, and opinion journalism can be great.  But if we lose one of those, the remaining two are worse off because of it.

Journalism is in crisis.  Responding to that crisis by saying “Who cares, we don’t need it anyway” does not fix the problem.  Because we do need journalism to make sense of the deluge of information the Internet has afforded us.  We need it to spend the time and money to provide the context and content for our new media to dissect and put back together.  We need it for democracy to thrive.  We need it to act as a check on opinion journalism and our blogs, just as much as we need blogs and opinion journalism to act as a check on journalism.

Saving journalism is the greatest charge of this generation.  It is up to us.  While I don’t know what the end result will be, I hope that traditional journalism will thrive and be made stronger by accessorizing itself with new media.

Again, thank you for reading.  I’m looking forward to the final post tonight, and feel free to let me know what you thought of the site.

Best,

Matt Schafer

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About Matthew L. Schafer

Matthew L. Schafer graduated from the University of Illinois in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Media Studies. He later attended Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication where he earned a Masters of Mass Communication and Georgetown University Law Center where he earned his J.D.
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