Hi everyone —

We have a great ‘future’ discussion going on the previous post, so please keep posting.

I had an interesting discussion with students in Jim Foudy’s 300 class Wednesday night where we were talking about how journalism and good writing is thriving and will continue to thrive on the Web.  Too often,  unfortunately, people equate the death of newspapers with the death of journalism.  But, what I realized in Jim’s class was that those making that assumption often come from a different, older generation.

Jim mentioned an example of reverse publishing — where the print product follows the lede of the electronic product.  To those of us who have been in the business, Jim and I mentioned how big a deal that is/was.  But  then I realized it was important to us — reporters and editors whose careers were focused on the sacredness of the print product.   For me anyway, those beliefs that the print product is somehow better written, better journalism, better ethics, etc. are ancient, outdated and erroneus. I fought this mentality for a long time at The Post and it can be a tough nut to crack with many from the older generation.

What became clear to me Wednesday night is that today’s students don’t make that distinction.  Increasingly,  incoming students are viewing electronic delivery as the primary way to get information.  Reading print products?  One student said Wednesday night that she does it when she’s at home visiting her parents.

But, does quality decline with electronic delivery? Hardly.

Check out Len Downie’s discussion of online standards and Steve Outing’s analysis on the death of newspapers.

The nut graf:

In the management literature as well as in my experience, it is clear that those organizations who fail to ‘correct course’ after receiving clear indications from the market to correct themselves, ultimately fail. This is happening almost daily as newspapers are cutting staff and in so doing, totally curbing their capability to produce a quality product and thereby even have a chance to survive. The result is an ever deepening and ever tightening death spiral.”