There is talk on how Jeff Bezos can “save” the Washington Post, the newspaper that he purchased recently for $250 million. Discussion centers on the future of journalism and what journalism is all about. At least we’re all off to a good start: the subject is “journalism” and not “newspapers” or the “newspaper business.”
Journalists must not think like the old “railroad” folk. The railroad people dogmatically maintained that they were in the “railroad” business, overlooking the fact that their business was actually “transportation.” When planes were being built, the railroad folk refused to go into what they believed was the “airplane business.”
Journalists are NOT newspaper folk. Journalists have to think of themselves as propagators of “news” and not forget what “news” is all about. People will want their “news” to be information that is NEW, TIMELY, and PERTINENT. “News” is fresh, touches or impacts people and their lives, and is delivered at the right place and time.
News must come fast or quickly, in the most convenient way possible. People will not want to pay just to know the news – people feel they have a right to free information.
Journalists should learn to fly and not take the train.