The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Jeff Jarvis - jeff@buzzmachine.com

Cc: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@turbousa.com

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 19 Jul 2014 00:00 am CDT

Subject: 2014023 - Why do writers write??

You wrote:

I have been working on an essay that explores new relationships, forms, and business models for news. It is my reply to the question, "Now that your internet has ruined news, what now?" I do not pretend to predict, only to explore opportunities. On Medium, I'll share the first third of the essay on new relationships for news to get your reaction and help. This is Part 1; find the rest on Whither News?

Now that your internet has ruined news, what now?

The obvious answer to that question should be, "The Internet is an inanimate object -- It can't DO anything." Only animate objects can DO things -- and your favorite animate object, Google, may be the most guilty animate object associated with ruining the news.

But enough about the negative side of this response -- your "essay" is, on the whole, a magnificent contribution to the discussion about the future of news, and journalism in particular.

Why do writers write??

And my answer: "To influence other people." I believe that "influence" is more accurate; however, I'm willing to go with your term, "advocate." Unfortunately, influence and advocate are only a portion of a person's purpose -- "for who's benefit" becomes very important when we are talking about Journalism. It's like this essay -- who are you writing for?? Yourself, the reader, or some third party?? What and how you write depends upon that question -- and obviously, the answer might very well be, "All three, in varying proportions".

From Part V - Organizer, advocate, educator

So then why not embrace our advocacy and make sure it is put to good use? Why not measure our outcomes and impact of all our work on the basis of what is accomplished? Why not partner with communities to use our abilities to help them accomplish??to advocate for??their goals? If we do that, then we must measure our success by helping a community meet its goals. And we must rethink our job descriptions and the skills needed to fill them.

We need to use or build platforms that enable a community to express and discern its goals. At a very basic level, the hashtag #occupywallstreet was just such a platform, meaning little until members of a community that formed around it imbued it with their meaning. More complex platforms would help members of a community accomplish greater goals.

BTW, I support your writing about Organizers and Educators; however, I am not writing another "essay" -- I am merely responding to your essay.

We need considerably more discussion about platforms, my area of endeavor.

To be continued (I really hope) 

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention). 

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