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Chris Jennewein is the former Vice President of Internet Operations for the San Diego Union-Tribune and Vice President/Operations for KnightRidder.com. He has been honored as a New Media Pioneer by the Newspaper Association of America (1997) and won the first EPpy Award for Individual Achievement from Editor & Publisher magazine (1999).
June 29, 2008
This may sound counter-intuitive, even mis-guided, but I think we're in one of the best times to be a journalist interested in local news and politics.
We all know that traditional local media is in upheaval. Local newspapers are seeing significant declines in revenue; some are even losing money. TV and radio stations are under pressure. Internet media companies are gearing up for local forays, and startups appear almost daily.
It's tempting to think journalism is changing, but it isn't. What is changing are the traditional business models and technology. And where there is change, there is opportunity.
I think newspapers will figure out how to prosper in this new world after a period of turmoil. The "paper" part of the business may be relatively smaller, but the digital part will be much bigger. Most metro newspapers now have more online users than newspaper readers.
TV and radio will have to re-invent themselves. They will probably be more online than over-the-air, and more local than corporate. Broadcast Web sites will evolve from primarily promotional vehicles to credible news sites. Internet radio and TV will jostle with over-the-air broadcasting for audience.
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