Tag Archives: david cohn

BASIC Principles of Online Journalism: C is for Community & Conversation (pt1: Community)

In the final parts of this series I look at two concepts that have become increasingly central to online journalism in the post-Web 2.0 era: community and conversation. I look at why journalists need to understand how both have changed, how they are linked, and how to embrace them in your work processes.

Conversation and community have always been the lifeblood of journalism. Good journalism has always sought to serve a community; commercially, journalism has always needed large or affluent communities to support it. And good journalism – whether informative or sensationalist – has always generated conversation. Continue reading

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Should journalism degrees still prepare students for a news industry that doesn’t want them?

UPDATE (Aug 7 ’08): The Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates suggests employment opportunities and salaries are not affected.

J-schools are generally set up to prepare students for the mainstream news industry: print and broadcasting, with a growing focus on those industries’ online arms. There’s just one small problem. That industry isn’t exactly splashing out on job ads at the moment…

The LA Times is cutting 150 editorial jobs and reducing pages by 15%; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cutting nearly 200 jobs; the Wall Street Journal cutting 50 jobs; Thomson Reuters axing 140 jobs; in the UK Newsquest is outsourcing prepress work to India, while also cutting jobs in York and Brighton; Reed Business Information, Trinity Mirror and IPC are all putting a freeze on recruitment, with Trinity Mirror also cancelling its graduate training scheme and cutting subbing jobs. In the past two months almost 4,000 jobs have vanished at US newspapers (Mark Potts has this breakdown of June’s 1000 US redundancies). In the past ten years the number of journalists in the US is said to have gone down by 25%.

Given these depressing stats I’ve been conducting a form of open ‘panel discussion’ format via Seesmic with a number of journalists and academics, asking whether journalism schools ought to revisit their assumptions about graduate destinations – and therefore what they teach. The main thread is below.

The responses are worth browsing through. Here’s my attempt at a digest: Continue reading