Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Your thoughts, please

Please post your thoughts on Michael Rosenblum's take on the future of journalism, and comment on what others say.
Your three questions on the future of journalism are due Monday, along with at least one blog post. The posts may help you clarify your thinking on the questions.

48 comments:

Adam said...

Well, this guy is my hero. Sure his outlook on journalism may be grim, but it sounds like he has a good sense of what does and doesn't work in the field of journalism: you don't get as far as he has if you aren't right most of the time.

I do think he was wrong about newspapers though. I'm sure many of the 1400+ papers will disappear in 5, 10, 20 years but I think that stalwarts like the New York Times and the Washington Post will last for quite a while, certainly during the remainder of our lifetime. They command too much respect and credibility (sorry Jason, but its true) and while people may appreciate the abundance of news sites like the Huffington Post, most know to turn to places like the NY Times for reliable information.

My personal favorite sound bite was his little rant on communism-esque news distribution. Its true, really. The internet accomplishes one thing: it levels the playing field, allowing Joe Shmo to compete with Gannet or Tribune for an audience. If only the same principle would be applied to, oh I don't know, say health care?

Rosenblum said...

Thanks Adam
I don't think the Washington Post or New York Times will disappear, just the paper and ink part of them. If that part does survive, it will be strictly for the wealthy, kind of like The New York Review of Books.
In the meantime, take a look a this, you might find it interesting:
http://rosenblumtv.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/epic-2015/

Joshua D Seidman said...

I will be the first one to admit that the thought of having all of the print versions of the major newspapers of the world disappear is very unsettling. however, both mr. rosenblum and mr. mcallester stated that they foresee this occurring, so part of me is starting to cope with this soon to be reality.

here is a list of some of the major points that i took away from mr. rosenblum's talk:

1) you have to adapt to the changing technology. it was very helpful hearing him describe what happened in the camera industry and then relating it to what is happening in the news industry.

2) pay attention to the business that you are in, and be able to respond to what the market is looking for.

for those of you who are like me and are struggling to come to terms with the impact the internet is having and will continue to have on journalism i heard something very helpful at the my life as last night which made what mr. rosenblum had to say a bit easier to digest. it was stated that while the form that news is being delivered is changing, there is still a desperate need for quality news and information, and that market will always exist.

Meaghan Folk said...

I’d have to say that I completely agree with Adam, Mr. Rosenblum was most defiantly one of the most enlightening speakers we’ve had. I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say he’s my hero but defiantly up there. I would like to comment on the fact that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for that unique attitude he has. His forwardness is something that I admire.

I mean in all seriousness can you actually expect the media to stay the same. This is the circle of history. Instead of saying your going to have to pry the legacy of print from my cold dead hands Rosenblum has embraced the future. I have to say this talk made me want to pay more attention to broadcast and work on my HTML skills. This is the future, its forward, not stagnant. I think that this talk completely altered the way I feel about citizen journalism.

Yes Adam, this does level the playing field. Journalism is one profession that does not abide by a set list of rules and regulations. So instead of rebutting what is to come I agree with Rosenblum, grab the bull by its horns and turn it into something big. This smacks the men in suits running our country in their face. It rocks the worlds of big business and corporate news. Maybe people will start to actually apply the principals of news literacy if the news is coming from citizens. Instead of relying on the reputations of the New York Times and CNN, perhaps people will actually second guess what there reading and seeing rather then taking it for face value. Because we all know that a broader market means more sources…. Isn’t that one of the core principals of journalism?

Rosenblum said...

Bravo!
Bear in mind that television is only 60 years old. Newspapers only 200 or so. Medicine is 6,000 and so is law. We are far too early in the history of our craft to have it cast in stone.. or paper and ink! We are, in fact, just at the beginning, and you are in a unique position actually to both create and define what journalism is and will become. Do not be beholden to old and tired institutions. They are nothing but the children of a technology that is already defunct. Embrace the new with vigor and go create the future for yourselves. It is yours for the taking.. and no one will give you permission to do so.. and neither should you wait for it... as it is not coming.

Ivanna said...

I thought Rosebulm was right on a lot of issues he mentioned just as people have to learn to adopt to the new changes that are occuring in the journalism field and theres no one the big corps can ignore the development of the internet and all the news things it brings to this field. I just don't want to completely give up on print, it isn't what it use to be and probably will never be the same. But only time will tell. I think its important to have at least some knowledge in all the fields of journalism to keep up with the busines.

I also agree with Meaghan when she said that we shouldn't believe everythin we read in respective newspaper or what we see on tv. We took news literacy for a reason, it time to apply to all the fields in journalism, not just print and broadcast.

lauren sarakos said...

Like most of my fellow students, I found Mr. Rosenblum's talk pretty enlightening. It made me think about the potential value TV news could have and the actual value it has in our society. It's sad to say but the weather and the traffic reports might just be the most important things the networks provide us with. No want wants to think that the news is controlled by some old guy sitting at his giant mahogany desk in a corporate office the size of my house, but in many cases, it is.

Sure, maybe we know better than to take every thing we see on the TV news for absolute truth, but do our grandparents or our neighbors or our non-journalist classmates?

If the internet does turn into everyone's primary news source where news is uncovered by anyone, anywhere, like Mr. Rosenblum suggested, how will society know what to believe and what not to? I mean it's easy to tell a lie in writing, but a little editing makes telling a lie through video pretty simple as well. How will society know which video to believe and which article to disregard as bias?

xo0oKellzo0ox said...

I agree with Ivanna that Rosenblum was right in a lot of ways. Though he is very determined that the future of print will vanish, I think thats thinking realistically especially the way the economy is, however you can never really define the future. This makes me wonder if education in journalism will be affected.

Carl said...

One thing that Rosenblum has been able to do is guess which way the curve is going to turn, and pick the right business to go into. But I think the one thing that he might have missed, is when he said that the future is going to be messy, like the ebay-buyer model. I think that before it gets messy, that will be the time for a middle man company (probably google) to swoop in and make distributing the news easy and simple. Google already does it with the advertising, why wouldnt they be able to do it with the news. If Rosenblum is right, where the future of journalism is going, then the money that will be made is in that middle man company.

Rosenblum said...

I think you might find this interesting:

http://rosenblumtv.wordpress.com/2007/05/28/the-peasants-are-revolting/

Catherine said...

I found Mr. Rosenblum's talk to be very interesting. His views on the future of journalism was honest- no, brutally honest- to those whose aspiration is to write for print. His idea that TV news is crap kind of made me rethink about the things i see on TV and the context that they're telling the story in and what the actual story is supposed to be. That's just a slice of the many things he made me and i'm sure the rest of the class rethink about the future of journalism.

I liked his attitude about how you don't need to pay expensive news crews consisting of a sound guy, camera guy, reporter, and a news truck to cover a story. One person with a camera and a laptop is all you really need. I liked his vision on how to run a news bureau and that he successfully changed the BBC and other companies reporters by "brainwashing" them into learning that way haha.

When Professor Selvin asked him what we should do to make money, his answer, "go out and get some great footage and sell it" was actually kind of enlightening. The harsh truth is that making a career out of becoming a reporter for a newspaper is quite unlikely; being that staff cuts are extremely common, and that they fire higher-paid reporters to hire cheap, just-out-of-college reporters. Job security in this field is rare unless you're able to adapt to the changing news-distributing scene.

I also agree with Lauren's concern about what on the internet we can trust. as she points out, it's easy to lie in writing, but with a little editing, you can also tell a very convincing lie through video as well. A system of what deserves credibility must emerge from all this technology before there's no way of telling what's true or not once everything is on the internet.

Rosenblum said...

Your concern for 'truth' is noble, but misplaced. We have lived in a print world for 500 years and as such have created a level of maturity with respect to print.

when we walk into a supermarket and see a tabloid headline screaming 500 POUND BOY FOUND ON MARS we don't say 'Oh my God"! Neither do we agonize over how we can no longer 'trust' print because we cannot now 'trust' what is printed.

We accept that much of what we read in text is crap. Now we have to be mature enough to traanslate that sophistication to video and online.

it aint that hard to do.

Emily said...

Mr. Rosenblum gave a really intense and really interesting speech, very different from the other guest speakers we've had in 301 so far. I think he made a really good point about how newspapers much learn to adapt to changes, and that "the oppressive nature of technology" will ultimately change how the public consumes news forever. His reference to the old train businesses, and how they weren't able to adapt to changing technology, was a good way of putting it into perspective.

I remember a while ago in class we were discussing how mergers, such as McClatchy and Knight-Ridder, sometimes result in newspapers being "flipped" and then sold again with a new image. Mr. Rosenblum mentioned that he was flipping the Newark Star-Ledger, but he did by training them with skills for video journalism, not by laying off staff and writers. To me, helping newspapers adjust to new technology and new concepts of spreading news is much more beneficial than treating papers as some sort of disposable asset.

michael kelly said...

I thought Rosenblum was half-right about the future of print journalism; I think newspapers will eventually go away, but that magazines will stay around. There are many people who want to still read a physical copy of news and analysis, and magazines will fill that role. A speaker we had the next day, Matt McAllester also said the same premise, that magazines will become the print media that is able to hang on during the new wave of media. Many people enjoy having a physical copy of something in their hands to read, and not just "old people" as Rosenblum would like us to believe. With new technologies, journalism has become more niche-oriented, and people who like to read a hard copy are a niche that there is to sell material to.

I also found Rosenblum's complete dismissal of how much money technology costs to be interesting. He admitted that paying for internet service on his pocket electronic device cost 10 dollars a month, which is comparable to a month of a newspaper subscription. Also though, buying the device costs a lot of money and was something he ignored.

He did make many good points though. It would be rididiclous for news agencies to not adapt to the new technologies of the age. His remark, something to the affect of "You have to remember what business you're in" struck me because it is true that news agencies do not exist to distribute newspapers, but rather, to distribute the news.

Rosenblum said...

Michael Kelly
Let's look at the real costs:
My blackberry cost about $300. If I keep it for 2 years, then it has cost me $.50 a day, or $15 a month. If my web service is costing me $10 a month, then the total cost for that access i $25 a month, or about the cost of a NY Times subscription. If I could only get the NY Times on my blackberry, this might be a reasonable equation - but that is not the case.

once I have bought the bb, I can not only get the NY times, I can also get the LA times, the Guardian, the wall street journal and a thousand other papers every day. Plus, of course, I get everything else on the web.

This makes the market for blackberry plus internet irresistable to anyone interested in reading newspapers,as the real cost of a daily edition of the NY times to me is about $.01 or less, and the newsstand price is $1.25.

From the perspective of the newspaper, nearly 75% of the cost of the paper is the physicality of it, that is, the ink, the paper, the presses, the trucks to distribute it and so on. the remaining 25% goes to pay all the reporters, all the staff, the building, the sales staff, health insurance and so on. The attraction of cutting out the 75% is also irresistable - hence, news meets web is inevitable. You may not like it, but it is inevitable.

In so far as magazines are concerned, some will indeed survive. If yo would like to figure out which will survive, go down to your local newsstand with a ruler. Measure the thickness of the magazine along the spine. Modern Bride for example, or Vogue are filled with ads. Time Magazine or Newsweek are headed for the dustbin.

This, (as they used to say in the magazine business - before it went out of business - is LIFE (another victim of technology).

Beeta said...

I really liked how Rosenblum discussed how people forget what business they are in. Although this notion of knowing your business is simple, it is also really profound because he is absolutely right, I can see how I have even been to proud to see the truth about journalism.

I thought that the Kodak analogy really proved his point. Kodak was a business of pictures and images, not film as they prided themselves on and which found to be fatal for the Kodak company. If we, journalits, forget what the purpose of our job is then we will undoubtably fail as technology and the profession both evolve. The journalist's objective is to get information to the public, no matter the mode. Print or not, journalists have to use and manipulate the same tools (language, investigation, research) to convey the information they have found. A journalist's business is not print, it is information any which way you choose to deliver it.

I also liked how he outlined what journalists need today. He said that a good journalist needs to be a good story-teller (which has been constant in history), technologically in tune and up to date (which is consistant with the new technology introduced daily and the evolving news media), but most importantly he said that a good journalist has to "just do it, - go out and do it now."

I think the last part of his advice is important because in the new multimedia age we live in, there are so many changes and new introductions that as journalists we have to capture the and utilize the tools we have now. By the time we are done learning and figuring out how to use the tools and settings we have now there will be newer tools and a different world that the original plan will no longer apply to. I think the advice to just go out and capture and do whatever we can now is good advice for a young, new journalist trying to survive in the world of new and evolving media and dying newspapers that we live in today.

Kevin said...

I do believe that Mr. Rosenblum is on point about the direction of journalism and its future. His theatrics may be comical, but his logic seems sound.

Web-based citizen journalism is indeed coming, if it is not already here. Hopefully the public will be prudent enough to allow the journalists who are good to excel, and those who do not take it seriously, respect it, or just are not good to fall.

I would respectfully prefer not to work for Mr. Rosenblum though. Mainly because I like my brain the way it is and $30,000 doesn't seem like enough to live on let alone put Mr. Rosenblum in the forefront of journalistic technology and line his pockets considerably.

Rosenblum said...

Dear Kevin
OK.
Have it your way.
But upon graduation you may come to regret those words.
In the meantime, trust me, lining one's pockets is hardly a crime.

Nicholas J. Chen said...

I felt like I knew this stuff already.
check the time on that
http://twitter.com/nicholaschen/statuses/781721988

Print is slowly bleeding to death and the internet is the communal play ground of the people.

I mean look at this stuff. People that just make ideas and have external services make the actual item.
http://snurl.com/23n8w

I was bumming around the internet and I found this nice piece of hardware. I thought that Rosen Blum was right about the whole communist content thing.
http://www.theflip.com/

Erich said...

I actually agreed with Mr. Rosenblum for a good portion of his speech. It seemed like he made some good points that posters before me have already touched on.

I got a little iffy when he started talking about communism, but shrugged that off as no big deal.

And then he basically said that the media was in bed with Republicans.

Not Democrats. Republicans.

Is he reading the same New York Times? Watching the same CNN? MSNBC?

Where is he getting his news? I'd love to know.

And 'trust me' doesn't count as an argument.

So I guess, in short, I thought he made sense until that comment, which made me doubt every single he had previously said.

Still enjoyed the speech though. Everyone is way too politically correct today, so it's good to hear someone who's not afraid to say, well, anything.

Amanda L said...

wow. okay. I feel like everyone already said what I have to say.

I left class with so many thoughts that I got into a "debate" with my boyfriend. He feels very strong that newspapers aren't just going to disappear.
I feel that newspapers are going to disappear. Mr. Rosenblum's "future of newspapers" sounds reasonable and, to an extent, somewhat predictable. I mean, history does repeat itself. If we take a look back in history, we see that people want to make their lives easier. For example, the printing press facilitated the publication of newspapers. Radio and television enabled people to listen or watch the news. No reading required! And now that the internet is becoming more accessible via phone or computer, why not read news online. FOR FREE! Who doesn't like FREE things?

I really enjoyed Mr. Rosenblum's insight and ideas. His comment on the fact that television anchors don't know what they're talking about still makes me laugh. I'm going to double think myself everytime I watch the news.

Neetu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neetu said...

I think Mr. Rosenblum had a really strong point of view. A lot of what he said is true. I think that newspapers are in danger of losing out to advanced technology, mostly the internet. I definitely think profits of newspapers are going to be less and less. Right now we are in a time where there is still the older generation that is used to relying on print journalism. I think eventually it won't be such a staple for people, as the younger generations take over. I don't think, however, that newspapers and magazines, especially the bigger ones, will ever completely go away. It is a good sign, however, that newspapers are trying to keep up with technology. Mr. Rosenblum was 100% correct, however, about most television news. Especially on broadcast networks, it's just hard to watch at all.

Adam said...

Mr. Rosenblum was one of the more upbeat and inspiration people that the journalism department has had as a guest speaker. He's extremely intelligent and radical at the same time. It was kind of intimidating when he was going on about all the companies he's started and also worked for.

I agreed with most of his views during hes time with us. Rosenblum talked much about one topic that we've talked about numerous times in class: extinction of newspapers. I fully agree with his notion that every print paper will disappear and get sucked into the world of the internet. This idea is the main reason that I chose to base my time here at Stony Brook with the online part of the journalism degree. I just don't feel like anyone wants to stop off and the deli every morning and pay for a copy of the Times, which is inconveniently $1.25, when you can get everything faster and cheaper on the internet or your phone.

Rosenblum's whole attitude had the entire class at full attention. His rant about starting your own website, blog or anything that is new to you really hit home for me. I'm glad we had someone who spoke to us that is down to earth and was ready to give any advice to aspiring journalists.

Ken Falco said...

I found Rosenblum to be right on with his thoughts. I did try to test him out with a question but he did butcher it up in a second. I really feel that newspapers are just economically inefficient. The numbers are there. The web makes it an easy access, easy exit free market which has its pros and cons. Getting past the blunders that fake journalism websites will be a rough step for most people, but in reality, people are going to surf and click on links on the web that they want to see. It is sad that we as a want to know more about Miss Spears than about the current election, but that is how this country rolls. My favorite part of lecture besides constantly hearing the word babe used over and over was the heated debate with him and the guy with the mac notebook. I am not going to comment on the winner of that debate, but it was like watching cable news in the studio.

muranglax32 said...

I think that Mr. Rosenblum had some very interesting ideas about where journalism is heading. I agree that newspapers could become a thing of the past within a few decades which is really disheartening.

Also I like what he said about anyone can shoot a reality show. I used to ask myself who came up with these ideas and I think I know now. But I do find it amazing about what he can do by coming into an office handing people cameras and changing around their whole way of doing things. It's amazing that people take to it so quickly and that change is ready to happen. He was definitely an interesting speaker.

Jessica White said...

Overall, I enjoyed Mr. Rosenblum's talk with the class. He made some good points about where the field of journalism is heading. It is importnant to know what to expect when we enter the field. I was disheartened by some of his comments concerning the future of print journalism. While I do believe that the Internet will put some print organizations out of business, I don't think it will happen as dramatically as Mr. Rosenblum envisions. Bottom line, we need to prepare ourselves to enter the job market by learning as much as we can now. This includes video,html and knowledge of the various comuter programs that will give us an edge over other prospective employees.

Gene said...

Well instead of going on and saying pretty much exactly what everybody else did, I found that I agreed with most of the things he said, wasn't so much a fan on the actual presentation, but it works for him.

Rosenblum said...

Dear Jessica
If you think that the newspaper business is not headed for a catastrophic collapse, you might like to stop by Tower Records on your way home and pick up my Polaroid camera.

There is no guarantee to survival just because you have been big and powerful before. When it comes to technology driven change, resistance is futile.

If you would, however, like to visit with the trogolodytes, go peruse b-roll.net/forum.

sweetbella999 said...

I think Rosenblum has really had a wonderful journey in journalsim. I admired his courage and individuality in living amongst other cultures and people for a good portion of his life but it has helped to create a strong foundation. He is a pioneer in the ways he has brought journalism to the world. He is right that times are changing and it is neccessary for us as news consumers to adapt to these new technologies. I do not think that print journalism will really ever disappear because no matter what, there are some people who would like to just sit down phsyically with a newspaper over a cup of coffee or on their ride to work.
-- Sara Celikoyar

Dimthalytes said...

Rosenblum's dark outlook on newspapers and the state of journalism was pretty depressing. The decline in newspaper readership is saddening. Especially since it is taking place in a nation of already declining intelligence. Sharp stab, but merely a personal observation.

People want to be told what to think, not how. Newspapers are quickly becoming purchased outlets of advertising. I fear that there is no hope for papers as the fast talking Rosenblum pointed out to us several times.

A topic he didn't touch on much was Magazines and their present state of economic status. Lucrative? Waste of time?

Should I start sending out my resume to all Starbucks in the tri-state area?

Dimthalytes said...

Dimthalytes= Stephanie Baez

Rosenblum said...

When industries collapse there are in fact much better opportunities, particularly for those who get in earliest. Starbucks is probably not the best option. I don't know if I recommended this before, but for those interested in the future of newspapers, you might want to take a look at this:
http://rosenblumtv.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/epic-2015/

Lynn Hsieh said...

I think Mr. Rosenblum made many interesting key points during his informal lecture. I agree with some of them.

His points about the bleak future of newspaper have merit as seen in the many layoffs and buyouts of many newspaper personnel in recent years.

It was also refreshing to hear someone who was very blunt about his perspective on the future of journalism. From his brief autobiography, it's obvious that
Mr. Rosenblum has succeeded in the business world in all conventional aspects and he understands the way the media world is shaping. The digital revolution and the advent of the internet has transformed the way we communicate and disseminate information. YouTube, Facebook and MySpace are common fixtures for many of my peers.

At the same time I DO NOT agree with some of his other points. (In fact I was a bit traumatized by some portions of the lecture.)

True, the newspaper and magazine industry is suffering tremendously due to their corporate owners but I do not believe (and excuse me for being crude) that they will die in the future. I agree that the internet will play a much larger role in the way newspapers form and disseminate information but I do not believe that the physical medium will disappear absolutely forever. Some people like having the newspaper/or magazine in their hands and I enjoy browsing the paper to find interesting articles that would be difficult when browsing the internet site. I think Time magazine made a wise choice when they decided to change their mailing dates from Tuesday to Friday because I enjoy reading the magazine leisurely on a weekend morning. I would also like to point out that blackberrys are not cheap! True most professionals now use them in the workplace, oftentimes provided for them as a perk, but this is a recent change. As a student I certainly cannot afford a blackberry at this time. And as a New York City subway rider for the last six years, I enjoy reading a newspaper or magazine during my long commutes. My economics teacher in high school even taught me the fold and glide technique of the formerly larger sized New York Times and Wall Street Journals (which I proudly showed to my friends.) It is simply not as convenient to read from a small screen on a blackberry while standing in a crowded subway during rush hour. But I have went on a tangent so I will get back on track.

Mr. Rosenblum was also rather general about how journalism would function and who would hold the defining power when purchasing videos from students. Is it the same corporations who own many news outlets today? And how would journalists function as citizen journalism flourishes. In the end, who will seriously profit because as we all know, the newspaper industry is all about profit. Whoever can profit holds the power to future of the journalism industry. And perhaps I a bit slow, but I still am unclear regarding this point. Who will we be selling our videos to? And how will market forces decide on the prices of them?

Besides, many of his examples (aside from his own experience shooting footage in the Middle East) sounded like cheap, reality series that I do not consider news. If this is the future of the news industry, then I am rather hesitant to enter whole heartedly when I hear that it's ok to cut foreign bureaus. Instead, I'll make a lot of money shooting "the secrets of dorm life." But that is not Mr. Rosenblum's fault if he is just catering to the interests and demands of a general population.

Perhaps, I am being a bit optimistic and even a little romantic but I not believe that society will welcome news when it is just entertainment. I remember reading awhile back from "The News about the News" that during WWII, that the New York Times survived a battle with another newspaper of equal renown because it focused on content rather than ads. They made a calculated decision to focus on content and this paid off. (Thus the fact that the other New York newspaper is no longer in existent and I cannot even recall the name of their publication.)

And no one can forget 9/11. During those initial moments of great tragedy and the weeks following, almost all news media, especially broadcast news, focused on the terrorist attacks. Even the corporate owners recognized the importance of that single event. Even the ads were forsaken in the beginning. Although I am not saying that this will happen again (Knock on wood) but I would like to think that news consumers still would turn back to real "hard" news in the conventional sense. I think they will be tired and overrun by feature news.

Finally, I would like to add that Mr. Rosenblum never mentioned the digital divide. In many countries where the internet is still a medium for the wealthy, it is much easier to access news through print than through the internet. Many Asian, African, Latin American, and even European countries are much further behind than the US. One of our previous speakers from Reuters Europe explained that most Europeans prefer the physical copies of the newspaper as opposed to the internet. Although, I agree that this may change in ten, twenty years, I don't believe we should jump to the gun and make vast predictions on how different cultures will respond to the internet. Besides going back to the digital divide, the internet is an exclusive privilege in many countries. Citizens from these areas will not gain access advance technology for many years, there is still hope for newspapers to adapt.

Thus, my concluding point is that while Mr. Rosenblum made many good points during his speech, it is too early to tell about the future of journalism. As young journalists, especially those interested in print, we don't have to lose all hope yet. I think part of the reason why Mr. Rosenblum is so successful is his amazing skills as an orator which can leave many people speechless. (I among them.) However, I would like to think that although technology is changing the landscape in which we live in, newspapers do not necessarily have to become a medium of the past. I hope that they will not become limited to an exclusive elite but I do not have enough information to make any points of this nature. All I do know is that I do not think they will die. Period. Instead, they will meld with the internet to form new ways of communication. At least, that is what I hope.

Jonathan Singer said...

Rosenblum painted an interesting picture of the future, but we will just have to wait to see if what he says comes true. That's the problem with making predictions. The interesting this is that we're the people that are shaping the news industry. Rosenblum said that people don't want to read newspapers anymore, and that they will soon disappear. For the record, I get most of my news online. So I myself help make Rosenblum's predictions come true.

Liz C. said...

I thought Mr. Rosenblum's presentation was very entertaining and informative. I agree with many of the points he made, specifically the comments about print journalism coming to an end.

I don't know if it will happen as quickly as he predicted, but I think it will eventually happen. It's a scary thought but at the same time, the end of newspapers does not mean the end of news. We will just receive it in a different form.

I think what Mr. Rosenblum is doing with video is a great idea. Teaching journalists to shoot and edit their own video is only increasing the amount of news a station or paper can report on. Which I see as a very positive thing.

On another note, I don't think it's wise to literally give any idiot on the street the chance to report news. And I don't think that is what Mr. Rosenblum meant either. At least I hope not. But the concept itself makes sense.

All in all, I think the presenation was great. It has opened my eyes to the future of journalism and the skills that are needed to be successful.

Rosenblum said...

Boy, this is picking up fast and furious.
First, for Lynn, if you think Time Magazine has a future, count the ads in the next issue you buy. Then go get Modern Bride and count the ads. This tells the whole story. Also, as you seem to have a subscription to TIME, my guess is that for the same cost, you could indeed afford a BB, which would allow you to get TIME on line along with every other newspaper and magazine in the WORLD! (Pretty good deal). As for reading it on the subway, a BB is a lot easier to deal with than a physical magazine.

Your comment on newspapers surviving because 'many people like the paper in their hands' is a tribute to the power of the market. Indeed, it is the marketplace that dictates what shall live and prosper and what shall die. So too when it comes to programming. As you can surmise by simply turning on your TV, dumb reality shows far outtrump news and docs when the audience gets to pick what they would rather see. Live by the market, die by the market. That's the price you pay for a free market. Sorry. And news just does not fare well. Maybe because it is so incredibly boring? Maybe a good task for you would be to try and reinvent the way it is presented. And I don't mean Katie vs. Rather, I mean rethink the whole thing. There's something there.

As for Liz, I do indeed mean give every idiot a camera and stand back. that, after all is what we do with pencils, and it has worked out pretty well so far. JK Rowling, citizen writer, after all. She was not a 'professional' writer, and she turned out Harry Potter.

I think the term 'professional journalist' is an oxymoron. If we believe in a free press, then we believe in a free press and all that means, messy and all. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said, 'the best cure for bad free speech is more free speech'. So too with a free press. The best cure for a bad free press is not to control who gets access to it, but rather to open the floodgates and let all hell break loose.

Micheline Maroni said...

I left class feeling inspired by Michael Rosenblum's speech. So much so that I actually headed over to Best Buy afterward and treated myself to a camcorder and tripod.
Last year, I envisioned a trailblazing career in print, but now understand that notion might not be as realistic as I had once though. I will allow myself to ride the wave of future technology and audience demand. .
If one could press my internal play button, you'd here Rosenblum's "just go out and do it."

JeL said...
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JeL said...

I really enjoyed listening to Mr. Rosenblum speak. He was extremely blunt and I think people may have been a bit taken back by him, but I think that he was speaking the truth so that is something we are all going to have to cope with. When he spoke about the broadcasting industry, it made me laugh because it is true. That was probably the hardest for me to take because I want to be in that industry. The newspaper argument is one we have been hearing time after time so he just made it even more clear that there really isn't any future in print. I think his words were harsh but at this point I think it what we needed to actually realize where the future in journalism really is. If he didn't know what he was talking about, he would not have come nearly as far as he has.

JasonFrank said...

I feel that Rosenblum is right about the future of journalism. However, I felt that he put on an act that led us to believe his thoughts are revolutionary and maverick. The fact is, most people in the field under the age of 60 understand what he says to be true. Just the other day, the far more laidback Matt Macallaster reiterated what Rosenblum said, but did so without grandeur and pomp.

Rosenblum has an irritating personality and uses his fast talking, loud demeanor to make himself seem hip and relevant. I think he is a disillusined rich Manhattanite that has completely lost touch with reality. The New York Times is a wing of the Republican party? Only somebody far left enough to consider Hugo Chavez a moderate could possibly hold a view so blatantly ignorant and misguided.

He called the pinnacle of freedom communism, and called my argument semantics when I brought it up. That was a total copout and he quickly proceeded to move on and not address my point.

Also consider the fact that this man is worth millions of dollars yet took public transportation out to Stony Brook. It is another example of the self rigtheous, "too cool for the room" attitude that Rosenblum has. I have seen and heard of him before, and have disliked him far before he came to speak with us.

He also eluded to his sympathy for the Palestinian cause, which makes him a sellout Jew and as a Jew myself i found it offensive.

All in all, he is absolutely right about the direction of journalism but you would be hard pressed to find another human being who I dislike more.

Lynn Hsieh said...

Dear Mr. Rosenblum,

Thank you for responding to my post. True, the quality and content of Time magazine has become sparse in recent years. And I fear for their future since their circulation has decreased in recent years, along with their ad money, but I think they are attempting new models along with Newsweek. I am referring to Time magazine's partnership with CNN on their website and their de-emphasis on the physical magazine. I cannot predict their future but I agree that their future is especially bleak as they try to appeal to a general audience. However, I would also like to point out that this is not always the case with news magazine and that the magazine industry is much harder to track. I agree that niche magazines may have a brighter future but other news magazines such as the Economist and the New Yorker (I know I'm pushing it with this one since it is so unique as a literary/news magazine) are doing well in the US market.

As for your phrase, "Live by the market, die by the market," it's true that newspapers will simply have to adjust depending on the interests of the consumers. But as of now, I think this mainly relates to the US market.

Going back to your comment about how how the news media is similar to a communist regime right now, and correct me if I'm wrong because I have a feeling that this may be the case, but I agree that since a few corporate powers hold the reins of the majority of news outlets, there can be a conflict of interest and less perspective thus it is not an ideally democratic process. (Especially as more reporters are laid off and more foreign bureaus are closed down.) And it is true that the Western media may have a slight bias as compared to other foreign media coverage as the point you made about the fact that the US media does not use and videos made by Iraq citizens. On a side note, the Western media's coverage of Tibet and China has become quite suspicious after a string of questionable mistakes. (I am referring to the Nepal and Chinese police confusion as well as a couple of misleading photos.) But there are still a few privately owned newspapers by families such as the New York Times and New House publications.

But going back, is the market only seeking reality tv and other forms of entertainment? I think news will still survive but I'm not sure in which form. Some docunews are still highly popular, such as 60 minutes and 20/20. Besides, I think reality TV is so popular recently because it is much cheaper to produce than shows and the writers strike certainly heightened this interest. If this is the case then it is not only because of a free market or public interest but rather the corporations intent. More people are turning to reality tv partly because there are less alternatives. At the same time, it is true that other viewers are seeking these forms of entertainment.

In the same token, some shows should be as affordable such as Charlie Rose which provides insight into understanding news and ideally would be rather low budget since it is a group of "talking heads."

As for the idea than any idiot can man a camera, thus produce news...I certainly hope that is not the case. Then what is news and how can we ascertain that it is in fact unbiased and reliable if we are purchasing content from anyone. Only because it is popular doesn't mean it is news.

I agree that it is unfortunate that the general American public has become less uninterested in news since it is more "boring" than other forms of entertainment. But there is a purpose for news and the key point why most of us are studying journalism in the first place. This is to work as the fourth estate and uncover news and help citizens make informed decisions. I certainly would not be studying journalism if my future prospects are only available at entertainment magazines or shows.

Plus, the future is still uncertain as you mentioned during your lecture. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but what exactly are the business models governing this new form of news? And who will be driving it? Will the market forces control the prices of content? For instance, how do you rate one documentary about Iraq from another. How can you tell one video is worth ten grand while the other should be thirty grand?

The internet is unleashing borders and allowing instant forms of communication, but again this is not an equal process. Think of third world countries and Cuba.

Finally, I agree with the point that the most profitable future may be in the form of finding a more attractive or appealing way to present news. Perhaps, this is where the internet is leading us to.

michelle said...

Mr. Rosenblum didn't mess around. At the very least, I think he managed to capture and hold everyone's attention for the full class through his blunt delivery, regardless of how ticked off some of you were.

Whether we like it or not, his grim outlook on the future of print journalism has all the potential to be 100% valid. Between high production costs and the demand for quick news, it seems inevitable.

So if newspapers are out, according to Rosenblum, what's next? Ok, the internet and citizen journalism. But after that? It's hard for me to believe that people out on the streets will dictate the news for the entire country. I'd like to know what comes after the mess because to me, this just sounds like a bunch of undesirable chaos that the country will not stand for. We're used to relative order and a sense of corporate news, how can that vanish?

Ashley said...

I thought that Rosenblum offered an interesting insight on his thoughts of the future of journalism. I do agree with him that there is very little room left for print journalism in the future, and how the web has already taken over human interest. I learned a lot from him. I dislike the fact that he has trained so many citizens to do the same job as us journalism students learn over a 4 year period at a college or university. We attend Stony brook and take several classes to prepare us for the future, while other random citizens are given a camera and told to go out and shoot, while we are trained with a Bachelor's degree. Overall, he bought new ideas and different questions to my mind.

Ally F said...

Overall, I really enjoyed Mr. Rosenblums speech. His honesty kept me interested and scared me at the same time. The thought that we are entering into a business that is on it's way out is pretty depressing. But he kept it real and made me realize that perhaps the right thing to concentrate on is print for online.

The stories he told reminded me that success is still possible for the professional journalist, it just wont be in print. I do not think that the NY times and Post will disappear as newspapers. They are land mark papers. In a business that once had many different dailies and papers a few are bound to stick around forever.

Furthermore, he reminded me that creativity is important. You must think on your toes and look ahead if you want to keep up with our evolving technology and the effect it's having on journalism.

Rosenblum said...

Dear Jason:

"I think he is a disillusined rich Manhattanite that has completely lost touch with reality."

On the contrary Jason. I think I am probably more in touch with reality than most of the people you are likely to run into. My opinions are not theoretical but based upon real world and day to day experience.

"Also consider the fact that this man is worth millions of dollars yet took public transportation out to Stony Brook."

This is a funny quote. How could you possibly have any idea of what I am 'worth' to start with, or how I got to Stony Brook, for that matter. I can, however off up this tidbit - One does not become a millionaire by hiring and car and driver to take them where the train already runs, (should you have an interest in one day becoming a millionaire).

"He also eluded to his sympathy for the Palestinian cause, which makes him a sellout Jew and as a Jew myself i found it offensive."

In so far as I know there is no direct corrolary between support for Israeli policy and being a Jew. (I also don't think I mentioned my religion either, if I recall correctly). In any event, I might suggest that you personally take a trip to Gaza one day to see how people live there with your own eyes, and then you can make an opinion upon the situation there from a truly educated perspective. Despite being fairly easy to get to, remarkably few people bother to go.

"you would be hard pressed to find another human being who I dislike more."

Hitler?
Stalin?
Dr. Mengele?

I am sure there must be one or two.

Rosenblum said...

Dear Lynn,
The market is the ultimate determinant of what is news. Your example of 60 Minutes is most amusing, as it is probably the least 'journalistic' program on TV trying to pass for news. It rarely covers anything controversial (one might look at the BBC's Newsnight for a far better model. They are fearless). For all its years in the business, it much prefers to tell the story of the Sheriff in Arkansas charged with statutory rape (they generally steal their stories form local newspapers, where the reporter has spent years building their case), as opposed to doing any truly original reporting.

In the build up to the invasion of Iraq, 60 Minutes shied away from anything questioning the Bush Administration story of Weapons of Mass Destruction. They almost always toe the line with whatever administration is in power, as does most network news. There is, alas, hardly a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats in this country, and the political spectrum here could fit in an eyedropper compared to that found in Western Europe - not that American would know, as the US media gives about as much attention to Western European politics as it does to political repression in Brunei.

I divide my times between Europe and the US, and you can be sure that when I follow a story in the European press (far more robust and engaging) it is a world away from the American coverage - which tends to be painfully simplistic, if there is any coverage whatsoever, which is indeed rare.\

If you would like to educate yourself, you might start by reading The Guardian (imho the best newspaper in the english speaking world - and you can get it online for free every day www.guardian.co.uk). You might also take a look at how European papers, particularly English papers (independent, telegraph, times, daily mail - to give a wide spectrum of opinion - are covering the Mugabe/Zimbabwe debacle - barely touched on in the US press. I was absolutely astonished to hear on NBC Nightly News a few nights ago, after the opposition garnered a majority of the vote (despite massive rigging by Mugabe), that the result was still unclear - this was Mugabe's propaganda line as he refused to relinquish power in the face of an overpowering defeat - and here was NBC reading his press release as news! Unbelievable!

As for the Communism tag - Communism is not a political movement, it is an economic system, and one in which you and I are engaging right now with respect to our use of the web. To whom does this wonderful thing belong? To all of us! And what do we pay for this? Almost nothing! And we share it with everyone! From each according to their ability to each according to their need.

And not one of us complains. In fact, we love it just the way it is.

JasonFrank said...

Mr. Rosenblum,


Thank you for acknowledging my comment, many wouldn't have. As for the other people you mentioned whom I may dislike more then you...I will have to think about it. ;)

And as far as you not mentioning your religion...Come on...Rosenblum? At the very least you were born into being a Jew, whether or not you have changed your affiliation is beyond my knowledge.

As far as your outlook, I never once disagreed with it. There were side comments that I found to be grossly untrue, but the overall message was hard to deny.

As for your worth...while I do not have access to your checkbook or financial statements, I have actually followed your career for several years now, and this was not the first time I have known about you or your endeavors. It is at least reasonable to assume you have a significant amount of money, as you have achieved great success in various projects spanning a large portion of the Earth. Should I ever achieve your level of success the train will be a thing of the past for me. ;)

Anyway now i must go, and obsess over Jerry Falwelll and pat Robertson while tivo-ing Fox News and offing homeless people while starting wars for oil and buying guns.