Laura Deutsch, photo of Ed Wasserman
Source: Laura Deutsch, photo of Ed Wasserman

At a gathering of alums from Chautauqua, a beautiful retreat center in western NY, we heard from Ed Wasserman, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism.

“They had names like the Herald, Sentinel and Times,” he said of once-great newspapers. “Now media calls itself BuzzFeed, the Daily Beast, Gawker, Twitter and Instagram.” According to Wasserman, at one time social engagement and commitment were central to publishing, but these institutions are in decline. Once we needed newspapers because they provided access to information, but “now a kid with an iPhone can learn more."

Wasserman shared what he reads. He likes the New York Times (which he subscribes to online) and the Guardian, and he reads longer form stories in the New Yorker, Atlantic, New York Times magazine and Harpers. He also follows some of the newer publications like the Huffington Post and Vice.

The marriage between high tech and journalism is young, and some grand dames, like the New York Times, have successfully transitioned. The Times now has one million online subscribers. Most of the revenue comes from subscribers, rather than advertisers, as it did in the pre-tech era.

While investigative journalism may be waning, according to Wasserman, more people than ever want what journalists do—fact-based narrative.

Writing prompt: Tell me what you like to read.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Laura Deutsch

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