Tuesday 22 December 2009

Does less money for professional journalism mean accepting lower standards?

Interesting post on TIME magazine's blog by James Poniewozik about the impact of journalists losing their jobs on the standards of journalism.
It was inspired by his neighbour complaining about typos in the New York Times which has laid off some of its copy editors (that's subs to you and me).
Poniewozik asks is there a a trade off, where readers have to accept lower standards as price of the news still being covered?
He writes: "So there's less money for professional journalism. Maybe, say, I'm willing to read a few more misspellings in exchange for another body working in the overseas bureau.
"Maybe I'm willing to accept cheesy travel coverage (or, um, reviews of vapid reality shows) if it pays the bills for local news. Maybe I want less national news and more local news in my paper, or vice versa. (The fact that different people will want precisely the opposite priorities—and some will cancel their subscriptions if you disappoint them, leaving you even less money—makes the call all the harder.)
These are all rational trade-offs. But they are trade-offs, and we should acknowledge it. Where are you willing to give less to get less?"
Via Adrian Monck


Russell said...

"a a trade off ..." (lol!)

Tim Lloyd said...

Very thought provoking. I suspect that readers are not prepared to accept a trade off, but nor are they prepared to dig deeper for good journalism. What is the answer?