Saturday, October 3, 2009

Journalism’s Future: Carrying the Fire

BERKELEY, CA -- “Real journalism gives you news that you didn’t know that you needed,” said Professor Neil Henry, Dean of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. “The challenge in this digital era is how do we monetize it, so our students can get paid for their work?” Henry said that 50 percent of all reporters have lost their jobs in the last ten years. “You can advertise for free on Craig’s List. The revenue stream supporting newspapers is diminishing.”

Henry remains optimistic that the future of journalism will eventually transform into something viable. He uses the movie Quest for Fire as the metaphor, “we’re carrying the fire into the new age—we are carrying the values of balance and fairness.” He cites a collaborative project between public broadcasting station KQED and the Graduate School of Journalism that’s getting a lot of press in the journalism circle. “It’s called the Bay Area News Project and it’s devoted to news delivery for the Bay Area,” said Henry. “Warren Hellman, a descendent of the Wells Fargo family gave us $5 million in seed money to develop this project. He told us ‘this is what my great-great grandfather would have done.’ ”

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