Media Heavyweights Are Stuck on How to Save Journalism

By Andrew Gauthier 

The 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival is currently underway in Colorado, drawing such cultural luminaries as Bill Clinton, Eric Schmidt, and Frank Gehry. Yesterday the festival held a panel discussion titled, “Whats the News Worth to You?” that featured ABC Newss David Westin, Bloomberg L.P.s Norman Pearlstine, Time’s Josh Tyrangiel, Journalism Onlines Steven Brill, and Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth.

Patrick Gavin of Politico reported on the public discussion, which included a lot of observations but few answers…
As is usually the case with such discussions, the group didnt break any serious ground in determining how to save a troubled journalism industry. In fact, many had to admit that they had no idea what to do.

Although [the panel] struggled to agree on a successful business model for news organizations going forward, they all agreed that specialization was going to play a crucial role.

“Basically, news organizations have had a strategy of covering the same news that everyone else does but trying to do it better,” said Westin. “That strategy is no longer a successful one. Half to two-thirds of evening newscasts are basically the same.” More…