: Bob Stepno quotes a response to the big state-of-media report that just came out, this from Earl Wilkerson, exec director of the International Newspaper Marketing Association. Says Bob:

He summarizes some of the report’s conclusions this way: “We need more journalists, we need more editors to counter-balance all of that unfiltered blogging on the Internet, and media owners need to sacrifice earnings to do that.”

Not so, he says, at least not for newspapers. He thinks they have a bigger need for niche products, things like quick-read tabloids for the youth market. He goes on …:

“I would respectfully argue that publishing companies don[base ‘]t need more journalists. We need more editors, re-packagers, researchers, and consumer marketers. It’s easy to say we need ‘all of the above.’ Yet the abdication of news gathering by other traditional media, notably television, leaves newspapers in the unique competitive position of having by far the most ‘boots on the ground’ gathering news.”

I say that Wilkerson is right. This is a packaging medium. Most news sites are about packaging news from other sources. And weblogs are certainly about packaging news from everywhere. And that’s a wonderful thing: With all these great sources of news newly accessible, there’s a need for packaging. Packaging is value.

However, it’s still true that without money going to the core news sources to report, there’ll be no news to package. And that is an issue for the news industry and all of us.