Journalism will never die, it will just change form
There’s been so much to indicate the death of journalism lately – so many redundancies and titles closing, as a journo-turned-PR and general media junkie, it’s been a depressing year.
But I was reminded recently of the expression ‘energy never dies, it just changes form’ (paraphrasing Einstein) when I heard that The Mail Online would be opening an Australian office and hiring 50 journalists to staff it. Not to mention Morry Schwartz, publisher of The Monthly and the Quarterly Essay, launching a new Saturday newspaper.
In Australia, we are an unusual case, because we have always had a much higher number of media outlets per capital than many other nations. So when times are tough, media tends to cop it. Also because of our large geographic footprint compared with our relatively small population, networking (or “sharing resources”) across a print, TV, radio or digital company is increasingly common.
But just as our mate Albert says, I have come to the conclusion that journalism is not dying, it’s just changing. Fast. And with unfortunate casualties along the way.
There is nothing remotely joyful about hearing of another title closing, or of redundancies at media companies, but I am not as pessimistic as I was perhaps even six months ago about the state of journalism.
You only have to look at some of the interesting work being done by sites such as FasterLouder, with its “Headliner” series of long-form profiles. Or the rise of interesting and clever sites like Jezebel that would have been almost unthinkable even 10 years ago. And I subscribing to the Vanity Fair iPad app means I can read it as soon as it comes out in the US, but for much less than it costs to subscribe to the print edition.
Yes, media is fragmenting and print is challenged. Lots of talented people have lost their jobs, and the painful period of adjustment is by no means over. But I am more confident than ever that there something different but great will emerge.