Brian Solis’ article “Can the statusphere save journalism?” went awry in the second paragraph when Brian almost blindly accepted Walt’s hypothesis that there are only a few papers worth saving.
If this were true, why are there hundreds of thousands of papers to begin with? Or maybe a more puzzling question would be “how are they making it?”
The perspective of both Solis and Walt is very idyllic and unrealistic in my opinion. They claim that skilled journalists can find a variety of routes through which to market themselves to the world. This essentially ignores simple fact that people necessarily have to have successful careers, they have to have an income, benefits, and job security.
Sure, you can give the whole “market yourself independently” world a shot, and you can even join as many social networks as possible — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, what have you. But none of these efforts are a guarantee of a career in which your work will be published, read and profitable. Plus, with the sheer volume of individuals hoping to strike it rich on these sites, it seems they are becoming less dependable for any realizable benefits.
How do you stand out in the wide, wide universe of Twitter profiles and Facebook pages? And if you do have the content and experience and background available there that would impress and move the world to read your stories, do they even go deep enough into your profile to discover any of it?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid Facebooker and Tweeter. I love them both for different and various reasons. I just don’t believe that Facebook or Twitter should be a journalist’s resort to find a job or make a name for him or herself. And I don’t believe it is EVER a good idea to consider that only a “few newspapers” are worth keeping and the whole lot of them should be done away with.
Abraham Lincoln said, “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”-Thomas Jefferson
Local newspapers are the basis of democracy! C’mon, Walt. Let’s not be so vain as to think that only the conglomerates matter and that millions of people aren’t reading local small-town papers.