“GEEKS” Author Debates Journalism’s Outlook on “America with Jorge Ramos”

CUNY Professor and “Geeks Bearing Gifts” author Jeff Jarvis made a recent appearance on the Fusion.net web show, “America with Jorge Ramos,” where he and fellow guest – Fusion.net Senior Editor Felix Salmon – debated the merits of a career in journalism in today’s web-based media landscape.

Salmon asserted that today may be the best time ever for the practice of journalism because of the internet and the prevalence of communications technology – but that there’s never been a worse time to be a professional journalist.

“There’s amazing journalism going on everywhere,” he says, “but it also means the amount of money you can make, the idea that you can have a long career, that you can get a lot of experience, that this will pay you well, that you can have a family on a journalist’s salary, has never been less.”

Jarvis argued that journalism is still a viable career path, but that today’s reporters must become advocates, not content providers.

“We have to switch from the idea that journalism is a content factory where we churn out more paragraphs and paragraphs,” he said. “We have to change to an idea where journalism is a service to people. If we’re a service, then you have to judge our success on whether or not we help you, as an individual or a community, meet your goals. That’s where we move over, I think, into advocacy.”

To see the full conversation, click here.

In February, Jarvis discussed the future of journalism on Host Bob Garfield’s, “On the Media,” podcast. He also was quoted in a Feb. 10 PBS Idea Lab article about the outlook on how consumers get their news.

In January, “Geeks,” was spotlighted by BBC Culture as one if it’s “Ten Books to Read.”