“Why Journalists Deserve Low Pay!” – IF they don’t adapt!
So after going through the article as a whole, this is a case of a scandalous headline leading to an article not the least bit as scandalous. Robert G. Picard basically states what has been said many times: Journalists need to adapt and become more consumer-oriented and entrepreneurial…but they are still worthy of discussion and there are a couple of things Picard misses out on:
Picard is apparently one of oh so many (non.humanities, eg. economic) journalists who fail to see that by reporting (using rhetoric and language symbols) journalists create truth, giving people means and metaphors to understand complex processes etc.
If truth (and beauty) are indeed valuable themselves, journalists have their fair share in it!
Uniqueness and Specialization
Picard says about daily newspapers:
… they can emphasize uniqueness. The Boston Globe, for example, could become the national leader in education and health reporting because of the multitude of higher education and medical institutions in its coverage area. Not only would it make the paper more valuable to readers, but it could sell that coverage to other publications. Similarly, The Dallas Morning News could provide specialized coverage of oil and energy, The Des Moines Register could become the leader in agricultural news; and the Chicago Tribune in airline and aircraft coverage. Every paper will have to be the undisputed leader in terms of their quality and quantity of local news.
He misses a few things here though.
1. These papers already ARE specialized. They have a section that reports on local events. What they need to do is to build on this specialty.
When I interned at an overregional newspaper, the editor said to me: the reason why our subscribers read the paper is the local part – they want to know about their grandchildren’s schools and the events at their interest clubs. With the developments in hyperlocal reporting, I am sorry for dismissing his claim.
2. Other than locality, there simply aren’t enough specialty topics to cover and it will be impossible for every newspaper to find one of these specialties that they can excell in.
3. If ONE paper monopolizes a topic, the news industry will come to the same problem it has now: Monopoly collapses, other sources appear, downward spiral continues!
I actually have to agree that newsorganizations aren’t doing a good job at providing what people actually want to know about. This is one of the reasons why I like spot.us: People can chose what they want to get reported!
My Own Case: