Stop. Stop the Presses.

from Medium

At the end of an exceptional first week for our new program in News Innovation and Leadership at the Newmark J-school, the students — five managing editors, a VP, a CEO, and many directors among them — said they learned much from teachers and speakers, yes, but the greatest value likely came from each other, from the candid lessons they all shared.

When I first proposed this program about four years ago, I suggested it should offer a smorgasbord of courses to be taken at will. Then I was fortunate enough to recruit Anita Zielina, the ideal news executive, to create and run it. She said (nicely) that I was wrong and that the program had to revolve around a tight cohort of students sharing their education together. She was so right. This week, I watched this group build trust, respect, and empathy — and a common store of knowledge and insight … as well as exasperation.

More here.

Posted in Business, Future Thinking, Ideas, Innovation, Media, Technology and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. What captured my attention most was the fact that the article said that the printing press “became a fine art, all over the business world, to find out what a customer wanted and to satisfy his desires…. Developed to the n-th degree, “service” today often means anticipating the client’s wishes”. Personally, it think it is quite sad to acknowledge that this is the route that we as a society have decided to move towards. Within journalism, articles rarely focus on actual important events that occur on a daily bases, instead, we as a society are more concerned with issues (that in my opinion) have no bearing being on the news. Why are we focusing on what artists have worn for the Met Gala, or if Selena Gomez’s new song is about Justin Bieber and their breakup? You see, journalism has now become a commodity, where it is now looked at as a business of attaining people’s attention. With that being said, I don’t believe there is anything we can do to change to trajectory that journalism is taking. It has been an issues for decades now and will only continue to get worse, simply revolving towards services that appease customer’s idle wishes.

  2. While I may admit that my generation may value a buzzfeed quiz more than a newspaper article on a controversial political topic, journalism takes on an entirely new new platform through the internet and social media. The author mentioned that “we should see journalism not as the manufacture of a commodity — content — but instead as a service”(Jarvis). When the printing press started it was a source of information. He is not the first to argue this. He quotes a Furman of 1926 who said that “the craft [journalism] is all about understanding customers’ needs and desires so as to serve them; they don’t make products so much as they serve people”. In this line of thinking Journalism is therefore a commercialized product. In the same way that we buy a television or a vacuum, in the same way that we but a refrigerator or a stove, we buy into news. An ad for Frigidaire’s new model might include details on it’s superior cooling system and built in water dispenser – things that the average customer is looking for in the product. The news reports on celebrities, technology, politics, etc. as a reflection of what the people want to see. The headline is the add which is targeted at any audience who will buy into it. I guess this is why we see so many movies on the stereotyped struggling writer who is forced to write fluff pieces instead of things that actually inspire him/her. These fluff pieces are often what the people will pay to read. The press is at the end of the day is more of a business then a source of information. Most people these days don’t even consider picking up a paper or reading news online. As a result of this what we do look at is social media. Here we see articles on the Oscars best dressed list and rumors on Brad getting back with Jen because that sort of thing is “trending news”. When I read things like this I tend to loose hope in my generation for not being able to see flaws in things we consider reliable sources. However, I’d like to circle back to what the author mentioned in the beginning of his article. He wrote about a group of students who said that, “the greatest value likely came from each other, from the candid lessons they all shared” (Jarvis). I think the author chose to mention these students to demonstrate the value of communication. The students got more out of talking to one another then listening to lectures because they related to each other. I’d like to briefly share a personal experience that relates to this. During the summer going into my junior year of high school I was lucky enough to travel to the University of Chicago as part of a scholastic program. The goal of the program was to prepare first generation students for college. It was fully immersive, we stayed in dorms went to lectures from 7-11 for 4 days. We had the opportunity to meet and talk with CEOs and college students who were one where we were. Amidst all of this we were encouraged to talk to the other kids in the program. That was 3 years ago and to this day I still keep in touch with quite a few of them. In years to come these will be people I reach out to as a part of my network. Social media, in all of it’s flaws, allows us to connect with so many people, and as the author concluded in his article, “enables us to share”. I can only hope that in the future the “service” we demand isn’t the superficial fluff were willing to buy into now.

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