Business journalism will survive
University of Nebraska journalism professor Joe Weber, a former chief of correspondents at BusinessWeek, writes that business journalism, despite its current struggles, will survive but may take on new forms to do so.
Weber writes, “For fans of long-form business journalism, the question is whether the format can survive only if it has a Big Daddy like Bloomberg. Will analytic and insightful work, the kind that made BW great, pay its own way? Will consumers pay anywhere near what it costs, now that so many advertisers have found other more cost-effective vehicles? Is the current slump more a reflection of economic stress or something deeper? Will business pubs prove to be niche operations serving elite audiences, much in the way that Harper’s or The Atlantic do?
“At the end of the day, it seems clear that people who need financial and economic news will be served. They may be served over cell phones, iPads, the Net or someday by brain implants — who knows? — but their demand for information will be met. The challenge for business journalists is to figure out how to make sure these folks pay the freight so they can keep churning out top-quality work. And, for budding journalists, the challenge is to make sure that they can serve up the goods in whatever form the market requires.”
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