Every now and then colleagues visit Silicon Valley to look for the future of journalism. Sometimes they ask me out for coffee and I say yes, because I am interested in the topic as well. Last time there was this reporter from Paris. “It’s so bad”, he told me with a tragic glimmer in his eye. “We are threatened with extinction.”
This middle-aged, slightly obese gentleman reminded me of all these boring conferences I have been so far where depressed journalists speak about how fast their business is about to die. One sad journalist interviews the other sad journalist on stage about sad journalism.
Can you imagine any other industry weeping that much? Journalism, your marketing sucks! It’s true; the media industry is changing dramatically. And a lot of editorial offices had to close which is very sad. But why isn’t anybody talking anymore about how cool this job really is? It’s probably the most adventure-filled fantastic thing you can do besides being Indiana Jones.
Technology changes journalism – but why isn't this only a bad thing? Facebook has launched “Instant Articles” and started to host newspapers' articles in its news-feed. Apple is now even hiring journalists for its own editorial office. Silicon Valley invests heavily in content.
And if tech-companies want to have the best articles possible for their users, they support editorial and journalistic independence. Reporter need to refuse signing an NDA like I did to during my crazy hunt for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Yes, I’m very idealistic here. My older and wiser colleagues think they’d probably know better. But there is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees. Journalism is dead; long live journalism.
Es gibt auch eine deutsche Version dieser Kolumne.
Immer Dienstags schreibt Britta Weddeling, Korrespondentin für die Themen Internet und Netzwirtschaft des Handelsblatts im Silicon Valley, über die neusten Trends und kleinen Kuriositäten im Tal der Nerds.@bweddeling folgen