PressThink - Chris Nolan on stand-alone journalism. Great post and definition.
"There have always been freelancers and journalists who worked on their own, but one of the headaches they shared was not owning the means of production and distribution. As Nolan says, "We have our own printing press" (the nifty modern weblog) and "RSS gives us our own delivery trucks or satellite feeds."
These are not bloggers. They are people who are using blogging technology--software that allows them to quickly publish their work and broadcast it on the Internet--to find and attract users. They understand that the barrier to entry in this new business isn't getting published; anyone can do that. The barrier to entry is finding an audience. That's why their editorial product is consistent, reliable and known. Readers have expectations and stand alone journalists understand this and put that understanding into practice.
So what--exactly--is a stand alone journalist? That's a definition that's going to vary with the person, of course, just as no group or reporters can really agree on what makes a "journalist." For me, the stand alone journalist succeeds in getting stories told in an honest and forthright manner without benefit of working for a larger news outlet. That doesn't mean they're objective or impartial; it means they're honest about their points of view or assumptions. A stand alone journalist understands that the main job is to inform readers; and the ethics that salaried journalists have when it comes to fairness, accuracy and honesty aren't just phrases. They're a discipline for doing the work that needs to be done: getting your facts right, your assumptions validated, your arguments well grounded.
18-34 Year olds abandoning newspapers according to new study from the Carnegie Corporation.
"Abandoning the News," the study written by MSNBC.com's founding editor-in-chief, Merrill Brown, adds more grim statistics to growing literature documenting the newspaper industry's losing effort to appeal to a young audience.
The survey of 18-to-34-year-old finds, for instance, that just 19% read a newspaper daily, 17% read it once a month or less -- and 12% said they "never" read a paper to get their news.
By contrast, 44% of the young people visited a Web news portal every day, and 37% watch local TV news daily.
Only 14% of respondents called the newspaper their "most important" source of news. Local TV newscasts were called the most important source for news by 31% of the young adults, while another 25% cited the Internet.