Your idea to save journalism will not work because…

After a recent entry in the neverending debate on the death of journalism and how to save newspapers, Metafilter user fightorflight took a page from an old antispam email forward (which in turn might well be based off of sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein’s solution to fan mail) and developed this standard response letter. A shortened version:

Check as many as apply:

Your [idea] advocates a
	( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) crowd-sourced

approach to saving journalism. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws owing to the avaraciousness of modern publishers.)

	( ) It does not provide an income stream to the working 
	( ) Nobody will spend eight hours sitting in a dull council 
	    meeting to do it
	( ) Users of the web will not put up with it
	( ) Print readers will not put up with it
	( ) Good journalists will not put up with it


Specifically, your plan fails to account for

	( ) The existence and popularity of the BBC
	( ) The massive tedium of investigative journalism
	( ) Editorial departments small enough to be profitable are too 
	    small to do real reporting
	( ) Reluctance of governments and corporations to be held to 
	    account by two guys with a blog
	( ) The tiny amounts of money to be made from online ads for 
	    small sites


and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

	( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none 
	    have ever been shown practical
	( ) Society depends on journalists producing news that few 
	    readers are actually all that interested in, quite 
	( ) Having a free online "printing press" doesn't turn you 
	    into a journalist any more than your laser printer did
	( ) Citizen journalists are almost as good as citizen dentists
	( ) You are Jeff Jarvis


Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

	( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
	( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person 
	    for suggesting it.
	( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and 
	    burn your house down!

- posted by fightorflight on Metafilter

10 Responses to “Your idea to save journalism will not work because…”

  1. links for 2009-10-14 « Glenna DeRoy

    […] Your idea to save journalism will not work because… | dvafoto (tags: onlinejournalism humor) […]

  2. JR DeRego

    it’s ROBERT Heinlein… not Richard.

  3. Fred Davis

    Was Richard Heinlein Robert A. Heinlein’s less well known brother?

    And where do citizen paparazzi fit into this all?

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  7. links for 2009-10-13 : The (e)Grommet

    […] Your idea to save journalism will not work because… | dvafoto Please fill in the appropriate box… (tags: Journalism funny media October 14, 2009 | Filed Under Things I've found  […]

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