Matt Welch, editor in chief of Reason magazine, wrote a brave article this week about the future of journalism. Welch argues that there's a major conflict of interest in letting the established media tell us that the death of their business model is the end of good journalism. Welch compares it to listening to a life-long employee of a displaced chain store write about the history of retail sales.
That is largely where we find ourselves in the journalism conversation of 2012, with a dreary roll call of depressive statistics invariably from the behemoth’s point of view: newspaper job losses, ad-spending cutbacks, shuttered bureaus, plummeting stock prices, major-media bankruptcies. Never has there been more journalism produced or consumed, never has it been easier to find or create or curate news items, and yet this moment is being portrayed by self-interested insiders as a tale of decline and despair.
As an active reporter currently working for a company that is trying to make ends meet with less and less advertising money - that is, someone who's job is very much at risk from these innovations - I agree with absolutely everything Welch wrote. The milkman may have opposed refrigeration, but it didn't mean that customers lost access to cold milk. Progress is still progress, even when I'm the one displaced.