[AEJMC Newspaper Division list] name change
Mack, Barbara M [GSJC]
bmmack at iastate.edu
Tue Aug 10 19:21:36 CDT 2010
Why are we bothering with talking about a name?
We should be worrying about the elephant in the room: a dead business model.
There are no successful business models for companies engaged only in platform-based journalism.
Blogs are read on phones, newspapers on iPads and Nooks, and screens (the distinction between “computer screen” and “television screen” is disappearing quickly) split into multiples so users can watch the news, access the web, make a phone call and read a recipe while making dinner.
Newspapers and television stations are partners in newsgathering and news reporting. The common ground is good news reporting, not paper or the electromagnetic spectrum.
The name is fine. The real question is whether the division needs to exist. Why not divisions for “news,” “opinion,” “research,” even something wacky, such as “entertainment?”
From: Bill Reader <reader at ohio.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 14:13:20 -0500
To: Carrie Brown <carrielisabrown at gmail.com>
Cc: "news-list at aejmc.net" <news-list at aejmc.net>
Subject: Re: [AEJMC Newspaper Division list] name change
It's perhaps a bit disingenuous to suggest that people who support keeping the name "newspaper" are somehow devoted to "newsprint." The compound nature of the word "newspaper" must be taken in its full cultural and professional context. "Newspapers" are not "white papers" or "research papers" or "term papers" or "conference papers," and yet all are still culturally regarded as "papers" even if they remain forever digital. How many of us submitted "papers" to AEJMC and journals in recent years without ever using our inkjets or laster printers? Does that make them any less "papers"?
This current debate, as I see it, is not about what media are used to publish, but the nature of the journalism and business model, and in that regard, newspapers (print/online) differ significantly from broadcasters (airwaves/online) and magazines (print/online). Newspapers differ from other media forms, and deserve their own branch of serious scholarship. I have met many times over the years with newspaper journalists from around the world, both at big papers and small papers and high-tech papers and luddite papers and national papers and community papers, and the one thing they seem to have in common is that they refer to their institutions, not just their end products, as "papers."
This debate over the division's name has not been about "newsprint." When public official scheme or goof, they still worry about what will happen when the news "hits the papers," even if the "papers" are purely digital.
Just two more cents,
Bill Reader, Ohio U.
On Aug 2, 2010, at 2:26 PM, Carrie Brown wrote:
Just a quick two cents. I personally don't care passionately about the name - as I believe Phil Meyer said, it's not so much about what the individual division is named but about the overall organization of AEJMC. But the passionate defenses of newsprint on this listserv do, with all due respect, convince younger faculty members such as myself and folks in the industry of our increasing lack of relevance (e.g. http://www.digitaldeliverance.com/2010/07/31/aejmc/). Regardless of the high esteem we may place on newspapers, my research partner and I have collectively spent months actually visiting them and conducting well over 100 interviews in the past two years, and what they are desperately in need of from the academic community is forward-thinking research on how they can change, build a business model, and enhance the core values of journalism using the many tools the Web makes available to us. I'd like to see the same level of passion and interest in THAT kind of discussion as I so frequently hear from this division about how sad or scary change is and how we must continue to venerate newsprint.
Carrie Brown-Smith, Ph.D
University of Memphis
Department of Journalism
Brown.Carrie at memphis.edu
carrielisabrown at gmail.com
If, and only if, journalists themselves become active, aggressive and vocal participants in the debate and the decisions about the future of journalism and, with public support, can successfully navigate the transition into cyberspace with their stated values intact, will journalism or democracy survive the 21st Century...." --Bill Kovach
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Bill Reader, assistant professor
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102 Scripps Hall
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reader at ohio.edu
"Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down."
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