Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kudos to Jim O'Shea

Quote of the day from departing L.A. Times editor Jim O'Shea:

"The biggest challenge we face -- journalists and dedicated newspaper folks alike – is to overcome this pervasive culture of defeat, the psychology of surrender that accepts decline as inevitable.....this industry must invest more in solid, relevant journalism. We must integrate the speed and agility of the Internet with the news judgment and editorial values of the newsroom, values that are more important than ever as the hunger for news continues to surge and gossip pollutes the information atmosphere. Even in hard times, wise investment -- not retraction – is the long-term answer to the industry’s troubles. We must build on our core strength, which is good, accurate reporting, the backbone of solid journalism, the public service that helps people make the right decisions about their increasingly complex lives. We must tell people what they want to know and – even more important -- what they might not want to know, about war, politics, economics, schools, corruption and the thoughts and deeds of those who lead us. We need to tell readers more about Barack Obama and less about Britney Spears. We must give a voice to those who can’t afford a megaphone."

1 comment:

Leon Tucker said...

Amen!

My view of the future direction of the newspaper industry is a mixed bag.

While I am optimistic that newspapers are here to stay, I believe our current approach in ensuring our longevity is off the mark.

I believe we should re-evaluate the relationship newsrooms have with their in-house advertising and marketing staffs and return to an operation that keeps the business side and editorial operation separate.

While I understand and agree newspapers need to make money to survive, we should not compromise our integrity and commitment to readers to provide objective content free from outside influences.

How much money we make as newspaper should not dictate newsroom decisions regarding personnel and coverage.

We should, however, be looking for ways to harness the power of the Internet to make our product more relevant than ever.

Like radio with the advent of television, newspapers should seek to redefine themselves in the face of the rapid growth of technology.