The information economy is changing rapidly

The average journalist resisted the idea for a long time that blogs posed a threat to their trade. Some still believe it.

But the world is changing.

Consider, the majority of early bloggers were tech bloggers. Some tech blogs have gone on to become significant businesses in their own right. Consider GigaOm and TechCrunch as two examples.

Now consider that Business 2.0, once a top business/tech magazine is ceasing publication. This is a print-centric publication that tried bold experiments with blogging, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

Newspaper journalism is being disrupted in many ways, large and small. Sites like HuffingtonPost, DailyKos and Instapundit make the idea of paid-punditry seem quaint and obsolete.

On a local news level, there are all kinds interesting experiments going on in local blogging/news gathering, such as the NewHavenIndependent and VillageSoup.

It isn’t enough to just say, “oh, but blogs couldn’t exist without the work we produce.” That isn’t entirely true. More and more blogs are turning out original reporting. It may not always be about the same stuff newspapers cover, but the proliferation of blogs add to the media smorgasbored offered to information consumers. They compete in the attention economy if not in the revenue economy. Besides, if your journalism went away, you don’t think the information economy wouldn’t adjust, like all healthy ecosystems?

Consider this post from Dave Morgan — in 2020, your major metro as we now know it won’t exist. Media will be very different when everything is digital — and it will be.

There is still resistance in some corners of the journalism world to the turning tide. Too many journalists cling to outmoded ideas of what their jobs should be like and what they should be doing with their time on the job. While I remain hopeful that most newspaper companies will be able to transform themselves into 21st Century media companies, the clock is ticking, and responsibility for making the transformation doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of publishers. Every person who accepts a paycheck from a newspaper company shares the responsibility.

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