Much of journalism is still profitable, and the rest needs more than a bailout. NYU professor Jay Rosen has been particularly eloquent of late in explaining why the future of journalism isn’t about propping up or replacing the system that we’re currently losing but building new ones. So if I had $5 billion to donate to the New York Times, I wouldn’t. I’d fund a 30-person newsroom focused entirely on investigations of local government in New York or a 30-person outfit covering the New York arts and culture. Online-only, of course. And if I wanted the best journalists doing the best work without worrying about ad sales or subscriptions, it would cost me $120 million to endow — or what the Annenberg Foundation gave in 1993 to launch USC’s journalism school.
Friday, January 30, 2009
"Got money to give? Give it to new journalism"
Zachary M. Seward, the young assistant editor of Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab, would like "philanthropists [to] step in to protect journalism, just as they have ensured that pirouettes and librettos maintain their rightful place in our culture." Seward writes: