Looking into the abyss: the future of journalism

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If you’ve been reading the articles in your dead-tree newspapers and magazines, you know it’s a terrifying time to be the one writing them.

The L.A. Times is snipping its already decimated staff. Gannett is cutting 10% of its workforce. The Christian Science Monitor is killing its print publication. My own employer, Time Inc., is reported to plan up to 600 layoffs. When I dropped by our headquarters last week, everyone I saw looked like that Munch painting: we’re all screaming inside our heads.

What I kept hearing from my colleagues and bosses was online, online, online: produce more online content, pitch more online stories, git your butt with the online program. I’m sure that’s the case at most major print publication, certainly the ones that cover news.

But in No Time to Think, a new book by Howard Rosenfeld and Charles S. Feldman, the authors say: hold up. On the Leonard Lopate show today, they argued that expecting longtime print journalists to spew out digital copy isn’t reasonable or even wise; online journalism is a whole new, if parallel, skill we have to learn and practice.

What say you? Any journalists, one-time journalists, wanna-be journalists? Does the platform matter?