What in journalism is worth saving?

It was an interesting question posed by a distinguished journalist.

“What about journalism would you keep and what would you change?” asked executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette David Shribman.

Shribman challenged a group of Ole Miss journalism students to answer the question and their responses were what you might expect when it came to what should be saved.

“Credibility,” said one student.
“Transparency,” said another.

But they had less to say when it came to what should change, so Shribman offered this view.

“What needs to change is that journalism organizations need to stop losing money,” he said.

Of course he’s right, but to do that, journalism does need to change and here are two suggestions:

  • It’s time for the wall to come down.  In an effort to protect journalists from the business side of the profession, we’ve allowed journalists to operate in ignorance.  Journalists need to understand the financial underpinnings of the companies they work for, so they can help figure out how to keep those companies in business.
  • It’s time to lose the arrogance.  For too long, many journalists have felt superior to the audiences they serve.  They blame the audience for not supporting “quality” journalism when in fact, journalists need to be figuring out how to make those stories good enough to interest the audience.

So what do you think?  What about journalism should be saved and what should change?  Let’s keep the conversation going.