Print is dying…but long live the journalist

It comes up a lot now...that print is dying...that the trade magazine will be dead in my (work) life time – and whenever we have that conversation my stomach lurches – and I find myself praying that the publishers are squirrelled away somewhere, coming up with a plan that ensures that when (can I at least say if?) the magazine does die that journalism doesn’t die with it.

We need publishers to work out how they are going to make money in the digital age – because that’s what pays journalists’ wages – and I for one think that journalists have a crucial role.

The foundation of good journalism is the truth – they are there to challenge, to discredit, to champion and to test. Their reputation is built on integrity and on being accountable – if they write a story that turns out not to be true, they will put it right*. OK, so one could argue that we often put our trust in someone who is ultimately just giving an opinion – but there is something in the fact that they are being paid to uphold their title’s reputation that reassures me.

As you may have seen from earlier posts – I absolutely champion social media…blogs absolutely have their place as part of the mix – but at a time where people are becoming more and more time poor, we really don’t want to lose the credible filter that journalism provides. If you want to keep informed about the latest products and issues in architecture, for example, do we really want a time when instead of being able to refer to some quality architectural magazines, our only option is to filter through 800 architectural blogs? Don’t we need both? I’m of course not suggesting that the ‘magazine’ needs to survive in its current form…I just really hope that the principles of journalism do.

*OK, I’m not necessarily including tabloid journalists in this!

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