“The Professional Culture of the Press”

NYU Journalism professor and media critic Jay Rosen* writes that “Not in personal but in public life, 2019 has been the most bleak and depressing year I have lived through of my 63. A few tiny green shoots in a toxic field that is spreading over more and more of the globe. This [Twitter] thread was the most optimistic I could be.”

Jay’s discerning analysis begins this way:

When I started studying the American press as an institution (around 35 years ago) I did not assign much significance to a factor that would later feel huge and at times even decisive: the professional culture of the press. It’s a beast. But now that beast is changing.

Rosen’s quasi-optimistic conclusion:

Engagement journalism, solutions journalism, less extractive journalism, a more agile, iterative newsroom. Nothing I have seen while watching these emerge suggests they are going away soon. The shocks to the system have been so many that the culture of the press is evolving.

I devote a lot of my feed here to problems in the press, and to criticism of some of its worse practices. But I don’t want to leave the impression that everything is collapsing and getting worse. For some things in journalism are collapsing — and it’s actually getting better.

Please read the whole thing.

*Jay was my editor at the University at Buffalo’s student newspaper, The Spectrum. He was a tough but wonderful mentor.

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