jump to navigation

German editor bravely declares that journalism cannot and should not be shielded from the brutality of the marketplace 6/6/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in BuzzMachine, Protectionism.
trackback

BuzzMachine’s Jeff Jarvis captured a moment of all-too-rare, clear-headed sanity from the World Editors Forum in South Africa. Andrea Seibel, editor of Germany’s Die Welt said, “Journalists…simply have to open up and realize that the reader is their actual employer. Which means saying goodbye to the hallowed notion of journalism as a cultural good worthy of protection…In a recent essay, the respected philosopher Jürgen Habermas actually stipulated that quality journalism has to be shielded from the brutality of the marketplace. We beg to differ. Protectionism is not the answer.”

Yes, and not only is protectionism not the answer, it has been the problem that is now making it more difficult for Old Media to keep-up. For years, news outlets have had the protectionism of economics that only allowed one newspaper per metro area, and the protectionism of government broadcast regulations that only permitted up to 7 channels per metro area. As a result, they are unprepared for today’s more competitive world. Adrian Monck reminds us that famed publisher Henry Luce lamented 70 years ago in a strangely similar media environment, “The crisis consists in the cheapening easiness with which anybody, anybody at all, can break into print.'” You can almost hear the Old Media gasp, fittingly using words last uttered during the Hindenburg zeppelin disaster: “Competition for the interests of readers?! Oh, the humanity!”

Comments»

1. Technology News | Venture Capital, Startups, Silicon Valley, Web 2.0 Tech - 6/6/07

[…] Source:The Future of News BuzzMachine’s Jeff Jarvis captured a moment of all-to-rare, clear-headed sanity from the World Editors Forum in South Africa. Andrea Seibel, editor of Germany’s Die Welt said, “Journalists…simply have to open up and realize that the reader is their actual employer. Which means saying goodbye to the hallowed notion of journalism as a cultural good […] Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

2. Peter Ralph - 6/6/07

What could Henry Luce have been referring to when he bemoans “the ease with which anyone can break into print”?

Lower prices for typewriters and mimeograph machines?

Was it really so easy to start a newspaper in in 1935?

3. Steve Boriss - 6/7/07

Peter,
Apparently, Henry Luce had a greater regard for the capabilities of “anybody, anybody at all” than you or I might. Adrian Monck tells me that Luce was a missionary’s son who’d raised nearly $100,000 in his early 20s to start Time, after just having started Life. I suppose his accomplishments were somewhat similar to what the founders of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and YouTube did, but it may be a stretch to call someone like Bill Gates an “anybody”!
Steve Boriss

4. Peter Ralph - 6/7/07

thanks for the clarification – I guess then you could take Henry Luce’s comments as support for either “the sky is falling” crew or the “business as usual” brigade.

5. a782c9392257 - 5/7/08

a782c9392257…

a782c9392257222f2010…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: