The Ecosystem of Journalism

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We have discussed in many posts the future of journalism, and decline in traditional media. One group of graduate students has decided to quit discussing it and use scientific methods and studies to help save the industry. The City University of New York School of Journalism has a program of dedicated students in its graduate journalism program that have begun the attempt to take on this rising challenge.

The project, being funded by the Knight and McCormick Foundations, is taking a new approach to build revenues and lasting companies in this unstable market. Two conferences sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation is where it all began as well as the idea to look at journalism as an ecosystem to better understand where strides can be made.

Viewing the industry as an ecosystem has allowed these students to identify who is reliant on each other and examine how all of the components in each niche work together. Advertising, local news and papers are some of the areas of greater focus. They believe by working in unison with all of the players, a more comprehensive approach to solving the problem of declining revenues is feasible.

Another major focus for the students is on-line news. They will be gathering new information and doing experiments to see how they can generate the most revenue.

"You may want to be small, but to succeed at being small, you probably have to be probably have to be part of something big."-Mark Potts.

Being part of something big is just what these students will be if they can solve all of the problems in journalism. They will be relying on each other, just as we all do in this ecosystem, for support and ideas as they try and save the future of the news.


David Wiley September 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM  

Outstanding topic, and really interesting in its approach. This is the sort of thing that proves people wrong when they claim "I'm a _________ major so why do I need to know about _________ subject?"

I think that the idea of all aspects of journalism pooling their resources together for the benefit (and survival) of the whole could be what it takes for journalism to thrive in the future. We already have many news sources pooling from the Associated Press...

I think the advertising and the online news are the two critical areas that need addressed soon. In order to be competitive with other sources (such as citizen journalism), they need to have up-to-date and top of the line online presence across the board.

But they can't do that without a good advertising revenue. Thus the two will go hand in hand. There will always be a need for the news. Citizen journalism might be causing more problems for traditional journalism than anything. Even if it isn't as reliable, people these days seem to want things faster and free.

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