Should we be saving sinking ships, or building hovercrafts?

It’s been a busy week, and I think it’s time to reorganize my reading-about-the-media habits to make sure I get some thinkers in front of my tired eyes and not just informers.

The sometimes-annoying but often-insightful Jeff Jarvis has been around the New Media block once or twice, and he let loose a winner earlier this week called “The Last Presses.” Jarvis talks with an editor at the Guardian about the new printing presses they had just purchased.

“he shrugged and said: ‘They may be the last presses we ever own.'”

Jarvis goes on to say that we in the newspaper industry need to “stop thinking one-way and start thinking two-way…Stop thinking of what we produce as paper. We need to stop thinking of newspapers as things.”

Newspapers are no longer things.

It’s a long piece, and worth the read just to get to the money at the end:

“…what struck me so much about the contrast I saw between Europe and America. Here, we are talking about saving newspapers and hanging onto the past for dear life. There, they are talking about what comes next and they’re in a mad dash to get there.

The idea that the presses we own may be our last is not cause for mourning but for invention and investment. We have no choice.”

So what are our choices? Get on the bus, ladies and gentlemen, the ride is just beginning.

[tags]newspapers, new media, journalism, online journalism[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Should we be saving sinking ships, or building hovercrafts?”

  1. Annoying? Annoying? I’m crushed.
    Thanks for the linkage and otherwise kind words…. See you on the bus.
    And since you’re in j-school and I’ll be teaching and annoying students in j-school next year, I’d like to hear what changes you think j-schools should be undergoing to deal with this new world.


  2. The jist of what I wrote Jeff in an email:

    An Online track is the way to teach students the variety of skills they need to be an online editor, designer, or producer. “Writing for the Web” is a writing class, not a using-the-Internet class. We need both.


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