"Those who tell the stories also rule the society."The journalist in me once believed this to be at least somewhat true. I saw a career in media as a calling, a privilege, a means of helping entire communities see the world around them more clearly. Yup, I've always been an idealist, and I guess I always will be.
The Winnipeg Free Press laid off 7 folks from the newsroom today. This is the second round of cuts there this year, and union officials there fear there's more to come. As is so often the case, journalists seem to pay for the industry's inability to find its way in an Internet/wireless/mobile/social-enabled age. Conventional advertisers drift away from ever thinner product, which hits revenue, which prompts more layoffs, which further thins the product, which...
I still believe in the privilege of those who tell the stories, that the work we do matters on a number of levels. I'm just no longer convinced the model we've been following is the one that'll ensure the survival of conventional media. Indeed, perhaps the notion of a conventional media at all is now something best left to history.
More to come on this. It's too fundamental an issue to ignore. And as I spend my days learning, writing and speaking about ever more capable tools of communication, I've got to believe that we're sitting on a treasure trove of potential. If only we have the courage to break the media decline/layoff/decline cycle.
Your turn: Thoughts?
Update: I spoke about this live this morning with CBC Radio One's Terry MacLeod on Manitoba's Information Radio. Will post a link to the audio if/when it gets posted.