You have to read this David Carr column

In today’s New York Times, journalist David Carr has a column that anybody in the new media world should read (via True/Slant).

He writes about how, before the Internet, people were heading to New York to get jobs in the journalism field. These new writers would work mundane jobs in the newspaper industry, make some connections, maybe do some fact-checking or copy editing and then, if they were lucky, get their big break and become an daily reporter, editor or something greater. That’s how it was.

Now, in the information age, that doesn’t work. Newspapers blew their chance in 2000. Instead of embracing the Internet and finding a way to make money back then, they looked down on it and were afraid to touch it. Some (actually, probably a lot of) editors working in newspapers still want to cling on to the past.

As Carr writes, those who want to hold on to traditional forms of media could soon find themselves in even more trouble:

For every kid that I bump into who is wandering the media industry looking for an entrance that closed some time ago, I come across another who is a bundle of ideas, energy and technological mastery. The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but seeking to knock them down.

I really like that last sentence and see a lot of truth to it. There are some young journalists who were taught the old ways of journalism — I was one of them — and will try to get a job that way. It will work for a few, but the majority will have problems doing that. Instead, the ambitious journalists who approach new media with interest and excitement will break the traditional newspaper barriers.

That’s cool.

If you go back to Lisa Cullen’s T/S post, she sums it up nicely with this:

Something changed the last few years. The young people were more ambitious, more — I don’t know — independent. If they wanted to talk to me, it wasn’t to squirrel a connection to a higher-up. It was to find out how old media works — and then to forge a different path.

I agree and have done this as well.

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Filed under Journalism, Media, Newspapers

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