Friday, February 18, 2011

A Quick Note On The Death Of Journalism, Or: Would You Like Fries With That, Sir?

These lines from the Toronto Sun Family Blog caught my eyes the other day:

The 21st century hasn't been easy on Canadian freelancers, with mass layoffs flooding the market and citizen "journalists" willing to work for free

I am not one of those people who feel that blogging, or "tweeting", or all such similar nonsense has altered the practice of journalism that terribly much. The great changes--basically: newspapers turning into a combination of website and video-clip repository and firing everyone connected with the creation of the old paper product--would have happened with or without Blogger or Wordpress. However, one definite effect is the one noted above: blogging has rapidly decreased the monetary value associated with word-smithing.

Take The National Post, for example, which makes extensive use of unpaid bloggers to maintain fresh content on its website. Baglow (Dr. Dawg) always writes eloquently; Beardsley is a solid Tory who nevertheless refuses to partake of the koolaid; and, seriously, is MacNair any crappier than Gunter or Kay? Certainly, NP readers consume their words as they consume the words of the paid pros, and can't seem to tell the difference.

An economist friend said it best as we were perusing some statistics related to the business. "Wow!" he said, "You can actually watch their market value declining!" That will be blogging's legacy: the death of the paid opinionizer. Which may be a good thing.


Shiner said...

This story is just nuts
The once esteemed G&M now considers lifestyle magazines its main competition.

Rotterdam said...

Freedom has consequences.