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Open Letter to David Carr on Journalism Business Models

An open letter to David Carr, media columnist for The New York Times:

David, you are a hell of a reporter and columnist, you are especially good at pointing out what’s wrong. From now on could you point out how to get things fixed? Focusing on Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s debacle, you write about the need for investigative journalism. Yeah, so David, who among your column readers didn’t already know about that need?

In that column you quote Gerould Kern, editor of The Chicago Tribune, who says:

“This was an extraordinary week for The Chicago Tribune. On Monday, the company filed for bankruptcy protection, and on Tuesday, this huge story broke. There are two messages there. One, that the business model has to be reinvented and two, the importance of doing public service reporting.”

In that quote there are two messages for you also. 1) Start doing research and reporting aimed at reinventing the business models; so, 2) we can save public service journalism.
In fact, after the Oscars are over, ask your executive editor Bill Keller and your publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to gather an innovation team of really smart reporters: you from media, someone from business, someone who understands technology and someone else who could specialize in social media and social networking.

Then you investigate solutions for reinventing journalism business models and maybe reinventing journalism itself. You do so in a completely transparent way that engages your audience and reaches out to them for their ideas too. There are literally hundreds of people and organizations trying to figure out how to reinvent this thing we all love, you could pull all the pieces together. It would be admirable public service journalism worthy of a Red Carpet treatment and a Pulitzer too.

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