Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

The future of journalism is out there (what’s stopping you?)

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on November 9, 2009

Journalism has a lot of hurdles to overcome if it’s to not only survive, but thrive for the next 100 years.

Money is a big one. So is citizen journalism. And yes, the decline of audience and the death of print are pretty massive too.

But the biggest hurdle, the one we must all overcome; the one which will guarantee a great future for news, has nothing to do with ink and paper.

I’m talking about attitude. Journalism is not going anywhere because hardly anyone’s got the right attitude.

And what attitude is that, I hear you cry?

It hasn’t got a name, but we know Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page have it. And Evan Williams has it to. Jonathan Fields and Jonathan Mead definitely have it. By the looks of things journalists like David Dunkley-Gyimah, Michael Rosenblum and Jeff Jarvis possess it too.

There are some bloggers, like Lisa Williams, Hannah Waldram and Hermione Way who got some.

It’s obvious William Kamkwamba from Malawi is bursting with it.

Important people at the Times, Independent, New York Times, Telegraph, ITN, Sky and the Boston Globe don’t have it, which is why they’ll eventually fail. And across the West, in Britain, the US, Canada and Australia, not enough journalists have it. It’s why we’re getting busy going nowhere.

It can be summed up in truisms like these:

Some truisms about attitude

And pretty much boils down to:

It’s the attitude which gets inventors, artists…and yes, even entrepreneurs out of bed in the morning.

And it is the attitude which delivers the key to the future of journalism.

If we’re not careful the future of news, belongs to them, and not the journalists...no wait, hang on. If we ARE careful, it belongs to them. The whole point is we have to stop being careful! Take someĀ  risks, get your hands dirty!

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4 Responses

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  1. Jon Moss said, on November 10, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Could not agree more Adam! And as you say, it does not apply to just journalism, but for a lot of things to….

    HDLive was something I always had in the back of my mind, but all it took (understatement of the year?!) was deciding it was going to happen and that it was going to be an ace event.

    We had a saying when living out in the Alps and standing on top of a steep off piste drop in – “never let fears get in the way of your dreams” :-)

  2. Paul Treacy said, on November 10, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I’m looking to shake things up in my own small way too. Keep an eye on http://photohumourist.com & http://paultreacy.com from mid December, 2009.

    Good post Adam. Keep it up.

    Paulyman.

  3. photohumourist said, on November 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I have to say that the New York Times is trying. From a photographer’s perspective I find this http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/ to be highly innovative, for example. And I know for a fact that they have some very interesting ideas and technologies on the way.

    Paul Treacy

    http://paultreacy.com

    http://photohumourist.com

  4. [...] links today, which I felt the need to share.  The first is from Adam Westbrook saying The future of journalism is out there (what’s stopping you?), which concludes with the above image and some great advice for everyone – be it journalist, [...]


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