Readers looking for more insight from their journalists

Insightful piece from CJR on the state of newspaper journalism. A few quotes:

We are still very early in the evolution of the form, but surely industrious bloggers won’t always need reporters to package such materials before they commence picking them apart. Mainstream journalists are making a mistake if they believe their ability to collect and organize facts will continue to make them indispensable.

This fits in with my recent post on blogging and disruption.

But the extra value our quality news organizations can and must regularly add is analysis: thoughtful, incisive attempts to divine the significance of events — insights, not just information. What is required — if journalism is to move beyond selling cheap, widely available, staler-than-your-muffin news — is, to choose a not very journalistic-sounding word, wisdom.

In order for journalists to impart wisdom, they must become personally invested in their coverage. This is part of personal journalism.

The CJR piece advocates something I’ve shied away from in my own writing on personal journalism: Do it in print.

Combine what Mitchell Stephens is saying, that print cannot survive without bringing forth more informed insight from reporters, and what I’m saying, that online news cannot succeed without a personal voice, and have bookend predictions that definitive-voice journalism is about dead.

No one is suggesting that reporters pontificate, spout, hazard a guess, or “tell� when it is indeed “too soon to tell.� No one is suggesting that they indulge in unsupported, shoot-from-the-hip tirades.

It remains one of my concerns that once most, or all, reporters are expected to bring more of themselves to the story, the less intelligent among them, the less insightful, the less mature, the less industrious, will in fact spout and rant and substitute shouting for wisdom. That is the slippery slope we’re on, but I’m not sure we have any choice.

(link via: Tom Abate)

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