The Huffington Post itself is on the soft sell as the MSM grinds it axes. This from Howard Fineman, as if nothing has changed.
My best teacher at Columbia was a man with a sly grin, a razor wit and a gift for Delphic utterances. He told us that journalism had one mission and one method: “to go there.”
In one sense, however, everything has changed. These days, my teacher’s mission statement applies not just to journalists, but also to us all. EVERYONE is a journalist, or can be. Technology gives us all the ability – digitally – to “go there”: to Tahrir Square, to the talk of Cairo streets, to diplomatic cables, to live feeds.
If the 21st century is about “self-determination” – and I think it is – then we all need to be actively informed and engaged. Journalism has become an interactive, communal exercise in self-education.
“Up to point, Lord Copper,” as Mr Salter, the supine editorial director of the Daily Beast said to his megelomaniac proprietor. A cool $315 million from AOL is bound to change something . The Guardian’s Comment if Free is nearest over here to Huffpost, offering a mix of paid and unpaid comment. Their Emily Bell scents trouble ahead, as Ms Huffington makes a massive profit from others’ sweat of brow and brain.
And the lesson for Slugger, such a prize asset but so far utterly uncorrupted by serious dosh? If somebody makes you an offer within a thousand miles of that one Mick, the choice simple: it’s off to Vegas or turn it into a cooperative.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London