If I Ran a Newspaper….
Jeff Jarvis
1.1K38

Jeff: I have to disagree with you here. What you’re suggesting, that journalists solve community needs instead of working a beat, is not journalism. That’s called social work and social workers are clinically trained to solve the problems of a community, which are far more complicated than you are representing here. Let the professionals do that work — they are vastly more qualified to do so than eager undergrads with knowledge of how to FOIA and how to write a 15-inch recap of their local city council meeting. Furthermore, I find the suggestion that any journalist should offer an opinion or idea about how to solve a problem contrary to the public trusts journalists have enjoyed. Journalists are trained to be non-partisan, un-opinionated watchdogs and un-earthers: work that can’t be done by the community. The idea that a journalist should pitch a solution taints the profession by confirming the public’s existing distrust of the media: that we are a bunch of know-it-all elitists who use our platform to secretly dictate the direction of the world. I don’t know how to make newspapers profitable again. But turning newspapers into non-profits and journalists into social workers ain’t the solution.

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