12.11.2006

We Already Know the Voice-of-God is Boring and Stifled

Press Think's Jay Rosen discusses the so-called new journalism with a former writer for the Washington Post, John Harris, who left to pursue something not really new, to join in the creation of roving online multimedia correspondents, "a collection of journalists who have distinctive signatures—by virtue of their personalities or source networks or ability to connect the dots in illuminating ways."

"... in general organizations like the Post or the New York Times have been insulated from the spirit of the age— precisely because they were secure and prestigious places to work. Once people got a job there, they tended to stay for years and even decades. Most of the people in those newsrooms are creative, and in my experience they tend to think of themselves as individualists and even iconoclasts. But the reality for many (including me until two weeks ago) is that they have careers that are more reminiscent of the 1950s, when people got hired at General Motors or IBM and stayed put. I believe that for people who want this type of stability, journalism is not going to remain an attractive profession for much longer. But people who adapt will thrive and end up having more fun than in the old days."
"I have long puzzled over a phenomenon about many reporters, one that I am sure is true for me also. They tend to be more interesting in conversation than they are to read in the paper. I think one reason for that is that the typical newspaper story continues to be written with a kind of austere, voice-of-God detachment. This muffles personality, humor, accumulated insight—all the reasons reporters tend to be fun to talk to."
Is this Q and A real news, or a case of news reporters trying to simply catch up with bloggers? Their apparently new form of reporting from Washington looks to be launching in January.

[Press Think]

2 comments:

smallgreenriver said...

I agree with your thinking that journalism is changing...there is more speed than ever along with the insane capacity of the journalism machine - needing to fill the internet 24/7 causes journalists to run too fast. The real victim seems to be the reader, don't you think?

SisterRye said...

Yes, there is a certain amount of insanity. One can easily feel bombarded and overwhelmed by the constant stream of information.

But readers won't suffer if they watch what they read. Slapdash reporting means readers have to be more critical.

Personally, I feel victimized when journalists tarry. They need to catch up with the blogosphere. I often see dead-tree-media articles reporting about something that is supposedly "hot off the press!" when I've known about it for days by reading my news online.