By Nicole Bush
In Newsonomics, Ken Doctor discusses how we need to get back to real news with real standards. He lists The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Mother Jones and The Guardian as organizations that have done this good “visible work” that readers have “responded” to. That because of the work they’ve done they have “seen a boom in subscription sales.”
But we need to see this type of work across the country and not just in the big cities at the big publications. We need to find new methods of getting this quality type of news out in smaller (but bigger), local ways, across the country. Doctor feels the need to throwback and remind us all of the Journalists Code of Ethics. He feels he shouldn’t have to, but reminds us of basic values like, “share everything, play
fair, don’t hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, don’t take things that aren’t yours, say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.”
It seems the times “apparently demand remedial courses,” because the majority of news outlets just aren’t cutting it. We need a new model that brings readers in for quality reporting. Instead of boring or confusing them, we need to take those real values and do something new with them to create readership and revenue.
In, Chapter two: What Works, we get a summary of people and organizations that have taken news the public values and done something meaningful with it. Probably what’s more important is they’ve figured out how to finance those ventures with creative platforms for advertising and made themselves sustainable. Obviously we need to see more of this to combat all the junk news that screws with the nation. I’m glad to know there are people and organizations out there fighting for the journalistic good and keeping reader’s attention. Refreshing steps are being taken.
Something more I would like to see are the values of journalism being talked about publicly, instead of just amongst ourselves–especially in our current political environment. As journalist, knowing our profession’s values is important, but the public being aware of them seems like a very important part of the bigger news organism. Is the general public at large aware of our power to hold the powerful accountable? Doesn’t really seem like it. Do they understand they have the power to hold journalist accountable for our accountability? Probably not. So let’s tell them.
Let’s tell the people our values and expectations as journalists, in meaningful and accessible ways.
I mean, I don’t exactly have the clout or contacts, but someone surely someone does. Six degrees of separation people.