Our mainstream press is in crisis, and the future of journalism is uncertain.
In response to plunging sales and profitability, and an inexorable increase in online and social-media platforms, the Fairfax and News Limited organisations have embarked on major cost-cutting and restructuring exercises. Hundreds of journalists’ jobs will be shed, printing plants will close, and The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald— our formerly iconic broadsheet dailies — will soon be downsized to a tabloid format. Meanwhile, a corporate predator is hunting Fairfax, and News Corporation internationally is splitting its newspaper operations from its much more lucrative entertainment businesses.
In Journalism at the Crossroads, journalist, educator, and media commentator Dr Margaret Simons explores these challenges, and discusses the opportunities they might represent. Simons considers the role of the journalist in this new media landscape, why we still need quality news reporting, how new technologies can enhance traditional reporting, ways in which journalists and citizens can work together to break stories, and how media organisations can reinvigorate their newsrooms by engaging directly with the community.
The imperative to think about new ways of journalism has arrived, and it is time for all of us — citizens and journalists alike — to become involved in this vital debate.