Tuesday, March 15, 2005

State of the News Media -- be more like B2B press

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has released its 600-page, navel-gazing opus: "The State of the News Media." If you don't have time to read the entire report, at least glance through the "Five Major Trends" section in the overview.
The report suggests that the blogging phenomenon demands a new breed of specialist expert replace the generalist journalist in the typical newsroom. Such a move, the report says, would help journalists "inoculate their work from the rapid citizen review that increasingly will occur online and elsewhere."
I hope that is not meant to imply that the solution to the woes of the elitist press is more elitism.
Instead, I'd like to think the report is suggesting that mainstream journalists become more like trade journalists. Those of us in the trade press have long accepted that our role is less about "explaining" or "gatekeeping" than it is about engaging in an informed conversation among peers.
Good B2B journalism is about dialog, and dialog is a natural function of reporting in a world where sources, reporters and readers are equals.

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