February 16, 2009

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Journalism Beyond Newspapers - Don't Become Nonprofits - Work for Them Newspapers have some tough times ahead. But as Lisa Williams has said (and I've oft repeated) "journalism will survive the death of its institutions." So what does that look like? It seems every few weeks there is a new bitch-meme in the journalism world. Last week it was micro-payments, this week if we should halt all newspaper websites for seven days and a few weeks ago it was that major metro-newspapers should be endowed. While I have opinions about all these, I still find the discussion somewhat limited. They are focused around newspapers! In a world where anyone can publish, newspapers don't have to be the center of journalistic activity. This has been brewing in my head for some time but as I sat at the We Are Media discussion today led by Beth Kanter I began to think about all the existing nonprofits that can be the force behind great journalism. As Dan Gillmor pointed out, some of the best early coverage of Guantanamo Bay was done by the ACLU. Rightly so! the ACLU recognized there was an issue, reported it accurately, spoke truth to power, defended the defenseless and helped make a positive change in this world. How many nonprofits are there in this country? Roughly 1.5 million. Do ALL of them need journalists? No. But many of them have issues that can benefit from good reporting. And the best nonprofits, the ones that really have a social mission, will hopefully recognize that reporting, fair and accurate reporting,...

David Cohn

I blog at: http://www.digidave.org I work at: http://spot.us

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