The Spectacle Blog

Journalism as a Hobby?

By on 7.1.08 | 9:12AM

The downward spiral of the newspaper business is depressing to an old newspaper guy like me. Leave it to a liberal journalist to misread the handwriting on the wall. Here's Roy Greenslade of England's left-wing Guardian:

What exercises almost everyone connected to the newspaper industry - and industry is the key word here - is the belief that websites cannot generate anything like the revenue enjoyed by media companies throughout the last century. . . .
Why the worry? Profits, of course. Online news sites will never generate the kind of money that has made newspaper ownership so lucrative. . . .
Meanwhile, many journalists who have grown used to the idea that their work is inextricably linked to profitable enterprises are scratching their heads. They cannot conceive of a journalism that is gradually freeing itself from the yoke of commerce.

"Freeing itself from the yoke of commerce" -- now there's the kind of euphemism you don't hear every day. Kind of like the buggy-whip industry has been freed from the yoke of commerce? As Monty Python might say, journalism as a career field is now "pining for the fjords."

Greenslade concludes by joyfully proclaiming to his fellow journalists that "the journalistic future does not belong to ailing publishing companies. It belongs to us." In which case, it's not a job, it's a hobby.

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