UC Berkeley Student Accepts Blame for State of Print Journalism

Here’s something you don’t read every month: a daily newspaper journalist refusing to assign blame to Craisglist, the Internet or the Great Recession for the current state of their industry.

In an essay published in UC Berkeley newspaper The Daily Californian entitled “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” senior staff writer Mihir Zaveri (pictured) suggests that he and his fellow Fifth Fourth Estate colleagues must accept a large part of the responsibility for the upside-down state of the U.S. newspaper industry. Writes the recent San Francisco Chronicle and The Oregonian intern:

We got complacent, and we stopped evolving, and soon the concept of a news article became far removed from what you, as a person, valued. Now we find ourselves in an awkward position where an indispensable component of democracy is slipping away, and we’re scrambling…

What is that end [goal]? Transparency and accountability: the free-flow of information required to keep democracy alive… Journalism’s sustenance depends solely on society’s trust that it can and does accomplish that end… That’s what I think we’ve lost: sight of our responsibility and the bigger picture.

The New York Times print subscriber and big fan of nearby CaliforniaWatch.org pledges that he will do his best to right this journalism wrong using a three-pronged approach of transparency, community and action. Great stuff, and quite frankly, a perfect article to include when Zaveri starts applying for full-time jobs.