Journalism and the Internet: fumbling toward the future

Last Saturday I hung out with about 30 members of the Association for Women Journalists – Chicago and talked a bit about the 25 things I learned from SXSW, and then it just morphed into an overall discussion about journalism, technology and what’s happening next.

There’s a lot of curiosity and just a little trepidation about this new, uncertain future of journalism, but it was heartening to see a sense of optimism and opportunity from my fellow media professionals, rather than the usual doom-mongering. Things are scary, and at this point I don’t think there’s anyone in the media industry that knows what is going to happen next (if they claim to, they are lying) but rather than just leave the industry completely,  some look toward the future with an entrepreneurial eye, coming up with innovative and new ideas to reinvent the field.  

Apparently the AWJ – Chicago crowd isn’t the only one who feels an tenative sense of optimism. There was a recent Pew Project survey that states that online journalists:

… are less likely to think journalism is headed in the “wrong direction” than are journalists from legacy media. They are also more confident than they are pessimistic that online news will find a self-sustaining revenue model.

That’s a good thing, right? I think general journalists, who are curious by nature, want to ride this storm out to the end. I talked to AWJ – Chicago president Karen Kring over the weekend and she had some ideas as to why it’s been so difficult for “legacy journalists” (i like that term) to fully embrace change.

I like to tell my fellow media professionals that we’re all fumbling toward toward whatever future this will lead us to. It’s a very scary time, butthere are no shortage of dedicated, smart professionals who want to see this through.

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