I caught some of David Simon’s testimony to the Senate on the radio the other day. It was like nails on a chalk board for me – listening to the same dead wrong arguments over and over again.
Ryan Tate says some of the things I wanted to shout through the radio:
I found this argument odd, because as a newspaper reporter who spent a few years covering a town much like Baltimore — Oakland, California — I often found that bloggers were the only other writers in the room at certain city council committee meetings and at certain community events. They tended to be the sort of persistently-involved residents newspapermen often refer to as “gadflies” — deeply, obsessively concerned about issues large and infinitesimal in the communities where they lived.
Gawker: David Simon: Dead-Wrong Dinosaur
Memo to newspaper journalists: “online news” doesn’t begin and end with Matt Drudge, and newspaper subscription never paid your salary.
May 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm
I should also add that stuff like going to city counsel meetings is the LEAST of online journalism’s worries. City Counsel meetings are free to attend, usually in the evening so people with day jobs can attend, and if you miss them, you can probably get the minutes.
There’s far more difficult and expensive journalistic enterprises. But as Simon himself points out, newspapers have been cutting those activities for years – since long before online journalism started to nip at the newspaper business’s heels.
Ex-newspaperman Dan Conover argues that these sorts of difficult research projects have traditionally been done by non-profits, not journalists, anyway: