I’ve just found the set of radical ideas for improving journalism published by veteran Silicon Valley journalist Dan Gillmor last week.
If adopted, they’d truly create a very different-looking news experience.
One of the weird things about the existential angst that’s currently afflicting journalism is how easily it’s become a debate about trying to save as much as we can of the old system — without acknowledging how the old system really hasn’t been serving readers as well as it can.
New technology is allowing news to be delivered in new ways. If these new methods serve people better, I don’t see why they won’t pay for it. And that, I think, suggests that we need to get away from the currently-dominant debate about how newspapers can survive in a world where people read their stories online for free and think more about how starting with a clean slate can create next-generation news organizations that serve us better than ever.
The solution won’t be simple. Many of the changes Gillmor suggests would be easier to implement (and have more impact on readership and therefore revenue) at a local rather than a national level, for example.
But it will be people thinking like Gillmor, I suspect, who will be running the best and most successful news operations a decade from now.