Entitlement and reparations

Jay Rosen deftly brings together the discussion around what he calls Neil Henry‘s “valedictory, a farewell speech in which he turns away from a fearful future and from students who are nervous but excited about it, admitting to the Ryan Sholin generation that it would get no help–and certainly no guidance–from Neil Henry.” Here way my rather blunter response to Henry; Jay has links to many more good responses. Jay’s conclusion:

My impression: we’re at the twilight of the curmudgeon class in newsrooms and J-schools. (Though they can still do a lot of damage.) You know they’re giving up when they no longer bother to inform themselves about what they themselves say is happening. And if their “who lost journalism?” call-for-justice op-ed disappears behind a pay wall so the search engines can’t find it, silencing that call online, the beautiful thing is they won’t know it happened, and they won’t understand why it matters because they never got how Google works in the first place.

It’s clown time for the curmudgeons because they’ve lost the smart people who can save the business the curmudgeon’s had tried to save by jeering at the stupids and their attempted changes.

I’m also still struck, as I was in my earlier post, by this notion that journalists — and journalism schools — deserve some sort of reparations from Google (and Craigslist). This is to say that this is a war and that journalists were the losers. See, too, this post from the D conference, where George Lucas lectured Chad Hurley and Steve Chen from YouTube, telling them that they should be funding a film school as reparations for pillaging the land of film with bad videos.


What a sense of entitlement the old guard has. They want these people to just give them money. It’s not the kids who are acting like spoiled brats who want to sit back and be given things. It’s the old guys who want want the kids to give them money. Of course, the proper response should instead be to say, how can we work with these kids and all the wonderful things they are doing? And there’s the dividing line. Those who do stay young. Those who don’t fade off, curmudeons at twilight.