Once you accept that all that free money from the middle of last decade is never coming back, you are left with two visions of newspapers’ future: diminution or re-invention. In the Post’s case, if you believe it can only be as good as it used to be by becoming as rich as it used to be, then you believe it will remain diminished, forever stuck doing less with less.

If, on the other hand, you imagine a Post that returns to, or even improves on, its best work, then by definition you are imagining it can somehow do more with less. This problem is not financial—it is foundational. It requires asking anew what good journalism looks like, in a world where the Internet exists.

Clay Shirky, via CJR.

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  1. Well, it would require complete regime change at the Washington Post in order to get them back to a point where they understand what good journalism looks like.

  2. Interesting thoughts on Shirky’s part. I took him to the second to last paragraph before he it the nail on the head though. Another part of the problem as I see it is how available new technology is for the consumer. Often new releases really only contain modest improvements and the average person over the last ten years has been well trained by marketing departments from Apple, Verizon, Sony (and the list goes on…) to prepurchase the product before it is even released. They have done well in creating the need for instant everything mindset and everything I can access with it should be free (Google started that wave).

    I think organizations like WaPo need to collaborate on a model that is going to keep them in business for the next century. JMHO

  3. Given that any man and his dog can own a website or have a free blog do we look at journalism as we once did? I think not blogging has really affected the industry like digital photography has done to photographers

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