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Archive for October 19th, 2009

Update: Michael Schudson has responded to this post.

Whatever else it is, The Reconstruction of American Journalism is not comprehensive.

Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of the Washington Post, and Michael Schudson, authors of the Columbia University report, described their work in the Post today as a “comprehensive report.” They recommend federal subsidies for news organizations and changes in federal law to allow more philanthropic support for journalism. More on those topics later.

Here’s what the report does not address in any meaningful way:

  • The role of social media in the future of journalism.
  • The failure of media companies to develop new business models.
  • The possibility of developing new business models that rely on the free market, rather than charity or taxpayers. (more…)
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This post is now out of date: I just posted my response to this report: American media need innovation, not subsidy.

I will be blogging later today on a report released by Columbia University titled The Reconstruction of American Journalism.

From a summary in the Washington Post by the report’s authors, former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie and Columbia Professor Michael Schudson, the report seems to focus on steps the government can take to prop up traditional news reporting models.

David Carr of the New York Times seems to indicate the same thing in his column on the same report.

I have serious doubts about the approach as summarized. But I won’t comment further until later (it’s printing out now and I will read it right away). Jeff Jarvis shares my doubts. I’d like to hear what you think.

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