Friday, July 3, 2009

"If you are a true journalist, the world is going to kick your ass."'s Cary Tennis ruminates on the life of a would-be print journalist here. Upbeat, downbeat, he writes about the ultimate choice -- passion or paycheck -- and how the print journalist, ahem, the writer might-can-should adopt to a new world where information is in motion.

Interesting riff, top to bottom. But oxcart drivers? Really? I think we long ago got away from the idea of j-school as trade school. It's not the delivery system that matters -- it's the goods.

But I digress. Here's a taste of his piece. But if you're a starving j-school expat, read it all:

Yeah. That's the ultimate irony, no? That in the midst of remarkable and unprecedented change, in the midst of the greatest stories to happen all century, we are paralyzed by some changes in the delivery system. Well, we do know, as McLuhan taught us, it is not just the delivery system; paper itself is a kind of message; it tells us that information is permanent, whereas the Net tells us that information is in motion. So the print journalism curriculum may have taught, incorrectly -- because it is taught by ox-cart drivers -- that information is permanent, not that it is in motion, and you may well be struggling to throw off that teaching, as perhaps you must if you are to tweet your way to victory. We must ask: If information is in motion, does that make it more or less true? That depends on whether you believe the world is in motion. Obviously the world is in motion. So information must be in motion as well.

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