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Dear Journalists, Ex-Journalists and Future Journalists

Dan McReavy - 10/03/2013 13:38 CDT

San Francisco, California, United States

It is time to acknowledge and accept that the Internet has fundamentally changed the pathways through which information is disseminated throughout the public body.

It has been almost six months since nwzPaper released the beta-platform for public testing and in that short period of time we've seen Newsweek issue its final print edition, News Corp's TheDaily iPad periodical cease publication and AOL's Patch.com quietly reveal that they are moving away from human editors.  All of this amid persistent layoffs at famous legacy titles such as Time magazine and the New York Times.

The one bright spot, if I may, is that the Tribune Company has finally emerged from bankruptcy court after a long four year reorganization.

The publishing industry has changed and the evolution is not complete.  Legacy institutions like Atlantic Magazine will continue to pay writers less and less because they just don't earn the money to pay the information producers the same money anymore.

What arrangement can you conceive of that the legacy publishing companies will reverse the trend of declining earnings in order to pay you more income instead of less?  The money doesn't come out of thin air, so where or from whom will it come from?  Where can it come from?

The money hasn't come from advertising as the CPC and CPM rates for news content have trended down for a solid decade now.  Whether it's a metered approach or just bad technology, the paywalls are very porous and are not offsetting the decline in print-subscription revenues.

As for security, if hackers can infiltrate the multi-million dollar Internet efforts of the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, how much trouble do you think it is to undermine the common blogging platforms?  Well, it hasn’t been tough at all!  What about the legal distinction that’s been made between a blogger and a journalist and the corresponding loss of safe-harbor?  Do you really think more blogs is the answer?

Change is here whether you accept it or not.  Fait accompli, folks!

It's time to think about the long-game and get back to the basics of what journalism is about and how the industry and careers can be revived.  Let's talk editing.  Let's talk production process, distribution and the money.  We also need to talk about journalistic integrity and accountability.

I've invested almost three years of my life into the nwzPaper platform and all of it without earning one penny.  Maybe you think that's nothing or maybe it demonstrates my commitment and determination to doing something real about the degradation of what is society's foundation – information.

These days we have Democrats nominating Republicans to critical government positions where the appointee has the capability to take human lives.  Since President Carter, the Democratic party has toed the line against the use of force inside and outside of the United States’ borders.  Ironically, it was a neoRepublican –not to be confused with a neoconservative—that toed the line in demand of a definitive answer on the use of drone assassinations within the United States’ borders.

The criticism of Rand Paul by Republicans and Democrats, alike, has made an embarrassment of our political system.  The political environment shouldn’t even exist to argue the issue of our government utilizing drone assassinations on our soil.  The Democrats and Republicans –DeRps, if I may—are no longer two parties with competing values, but one cesspool of cronyism.  The only thing DeRps disagree on is who gets the taxpayers' money–our money!

The global economic system continues to degrade as more sovereign countries run structural deficits to offset reduced consumer needs and wants.  Even the Chinese miracle is projecting a USD $192 billion national fiscal deficit.  International diplomacy is on its way to disaster as we inch toward a conflict between eastern and western societies.  It’s a pretty big deal when the second largest economy outright threatens the third largest economy with kinetic military force, right?

In my estimation, this social decay has all been possible because of the collapse of the journalism industry and the desperation of journalists to make immediate money as journalists.  I understand the pain of immediate needs, but continuing to focus on that acute pain is going to lead to much larger problems in the long run.  It should be clear that the legacy institutions are only out to preserve their existence and the individual journalists–you–are expendable!

It's past time to get serious about the long-game of journalism and invest yourself in a new journalism paradigm.  We are looking for those people who want to be a part of the future, if you're interested, let's talk.  Setting up a journalist profile takes only 30 seconds; just click on the sign-up button in the upper right corner and we will be in direct contact.