Back to the future

Last night, we had our gala opening for the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and many noted with rueful nostalgia that we were in the old Herald-Tribune building (next to the new New York Times building). We were surrounded by computers and screens and students: in short, the future. It’s a reminder that newspapers do die. But journalism will continue, in one form or another.

  • Jeff,

    The engliss word for news-papers is very bad.

    Because we are in the news business not in the printing one.

    The French work “journal”, the Spanish one “periodico” or the Italiann one “giornale” are better as they don’t stress the print part.

    Let’s not foget that the first “papers” were called just “gazettes”

    For this reason, I prefer not to announce the death of anybody, including news-papers.

    As you reported, and the editor of The Guardian said, for many newspaper companies “perhaps these are the last printing presses that we buy…”

    But great newspaper brands like The Guardian, The New York Times, La Vanguardia, La Repubblica, Expresso, O Globo, Reforma, The Sidney Morning Herald, Frankfurter Allgemaine Zeitung or El Pais will be able to make the transition if they embrace the “agnostic platform” approach.

    Of course many other will not as they do not realize this dramatic shift.

    The New York Herald is dead, and it was not killed by internet.

    The newspapering history is full casualties.

    The option has been here like in any other industry, to innovate or die.

    I am sure that we will see a lot of innovators, and, why not?, a lot of deaths.

    More on this subject in my blog.

  • My feeling? Most daily newspapers are becoming a thing of the past. Yeah, people still read on the train and even some in the break room… The only ones that seem to stay around are the weeklies and the large, “relax and read-at-your-leisure-all-day” Sunday editions.

    Just my humble opinion here in the Mad City…

    ~ China Moon, Realtor®

  • Wait’ll you get a real, up-close-and-personal dose of the CUNY educrat hierarchy.

    “Rue the day” buddy. You’re gonna rue the day you got in bed with them gits.

  • Good wishes on your passing on updated concepts of journalism – especially the part about facts.

    Under cover of the pyrotechnics of this campaign, a lot is being shuttled through our government without a ripple on the surface – and our reporters are for the most part totally ignoring it.

    I have emailed you about one atrocity.

  • JennyD

    Jeff, I looked at th CUNY J-school site. It looks as though it is very much a practice-focused program, rather than the kind of eggheady stuff you might find at Annenberg. Very much a professional school in terms of its design.

    I wonder what standards you and the other faculty have considered that will allow you to reflect and evaluate whether you are successful in your teaching of students. Is there specific task knowledge you want them to leave with, or will you judge your success by the kinds of jobs they get?

  • Jenny,
    They and we will be judged primarily by the quality of the journalism they do. I’d say it’s not just about the jobs they get but the jobs they do, then. That involves many tasks, from craft to working in any media to taking on a subject concentration with intellectual vigor. I am also valuing flexibility and openness in what I am teaching so far: the ability to see and experiment with new models, new ways of doing journalism. That’s not a very good answer but, hey, this is just a blog comment. ;-) But you ask a good question, one I think we need to keep re-asking, especially as a new school.

  • JennyD

    Jeff, I ask because many Research I universities (some? anyway, at least a few) have turned their communications/journalism studies toward a more scholarly approach rather than a practice-based one. I’m thinking of Annenberg schools, Umich, and others… There are many reasons for that, ranging from research universities should NOT be teaching trades and crafts, to there’s lots more money in grants and fellowships looking at the theory and scholarship of communications rather than teaching kids to write ledes.

    So I’ll be interested to see how you continue to sift through this….