Journalism is not a federal earmark

Dave Winer, a guy who loves news and, who among his many pioneering achievements, put the New York Times into RSS, says the newsroom curmudgeons who bitterly opine “those bloggers are killing journalism; who’ll do reporting then” just have it wrong.

Journalism is being killed because “the sources got blogs” …and Twitter … and, well, by journalists themselves, Winer argues in blog posted titled Death of Journalism, part 3.

Yes we will miss you when you’re gone. Now what?  

No, we’re not going to ask the government to pay your salaries. I’d like the govt to pay me a salary for what I do. I don’t see you rushing to my defense. Oh please pay Dave for writing Scripting News. Everyone would like to be paid for their labor of love.  

The reporters rush right by the readers in their pleas. Our only job is to miss or not miss them. This, imho, is the fatal bug in the old way of doing journalism, it’s wrong, it never was that way. We were always active participants in news, either by creating it or being effected by it. Before they rush around us to take our money from the government, how about a conversation first, ask us what we want from journalism, what we like and don’t like — and don’t assume you know the answer. (The journalists’ answer is that we want sports, movie stars, bosoms, car crashes. You know that because that’s most of what they give us. Maybe that’s why no one is rushing to their defense. Just a thought.)

I think there’s good evidence that bloggers are driving traffic to sources of original reporting, mainstream or not, so let’s put away the curmudgeon whine.

Journalists and their employers are doing a lot more worrying than doing, unfortunately. It’ll take a reshaping that goes beyond a nip and tuck of last century’s fashions. The rest of the world will not wait. People with a message to get out are already thinking about a world without the middlemen of the news media.

Seen on Twitter:

In 10 years we’ll talk about newspapers like we talk about 45’s today. — Eric Jackson

Maybe. But music survived the 45.

(Update: Welcome Instapundit readers!)