Tuesday 23 December 2008

BBC Newsnight's Paul Mason on the future of journalism as the recession begins to bite

BBC Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason makes some interesting observations about the impact of the recession on journalism in an interview in the latest issue of The Journalist.

On the recession, Mason says:"The recession is going to shake out the weakest economic actors. We've seen it with local papers, we've seen it with commercial TV. When it's shaken out and it finishes it won't come back the same. Professional journalists have a place in it but we're going to have a different place in it."

On the newsroom vs. bloggers: "The newsroom is a real-time peer review mechanism where people are in a very tough and abrasive relationship with each other that bloggers in their pyjamas cannot replicate."

On journalists' jobs: "There are going to be less journalists. It's not the recession that is doing that. It is the deskilling and the rise of new technology. What you have to do is define what
the skilled class of professional journalist actually does in that world. What makes us worth employing? I am very robust about it. I think we are going into an information age and we are the ones that provide that information. We are not going to disappear."

The interview is a good read in The Journalist which looks miles better after a re-design that, thankfully, hasn't aped the trade press where all the titles seem to be shrinking in size. You can see a video interview with Paul Mason by Journalist editor Tim Gopsill here.

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