You are here

Much ado about nothing

Submitted by yelvington on October 19, 2009 - 8:39pm

There is a great disturbance in the Force today; lots of 140-character mini-rants about CJR's "The Reconstruction of American Journalism" by Len Downie and Michael Shudson.

Apparently no one is happy. Some of the reactions are puzzling, apparently aimed at some other enemy, sort of like the way people rant about an imaginary grandma-killing Obama at a health-care town hall meeting.

There is no radicalism in this report. It's not a Luddite screed, nor a call to revolution. It is, as Jan Schaffer observes, a mile wide and an inch deep.

After an exhaustive survey it leads us to a recommendation for some Internet taxes to create "a national Fund for Local News" that would provide grants to underwrite local journalism. It is underwhelming as a "solution" to whatever problems might be posed by the disruptive changes in media, and in the current political and economic climate, highly unlikely.

There are a couple of minor fact-checking and editing weaknesses, but I'd recommend it as a read for college journalism students. But as a vision, well, don't get your hopes up.