NEW BUSI­NESS MOD­ELS DON’T CHANGE VAL­UES OF JOUR­NAL­ISTS

StarMetro Toronto - - BIG OPINIONS - Kathy English

For as long as I have been a jour­nal­ist — 40 years — I have lis­tened to crit­i­cism about jour­nal­ism just about any­where I go. In­evitably, crit­ics would hurl what they re­garded as the ul­ti­mate charge against the work I have been so pas­sion­ate about: “Well, you just want to sell pa­pers!”

No, no, no, I would then tell them. News­room jour­nal­ists don’t re­ally think about sell­ing pa­pers. That is not the mo­ti­va­tion of jour­nal­ists. Rather, we ob­sess about how many read­ers will pay at­ten­tion to our work, the im­pact of our sto­ries and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence — get­ting ac­tion that mat­ters — through our re­port­ing and com­men­tary. We long told those crit­ics that sell­ing pa­pers was the busi­ness of the cir­cu­la­tion de­part­ments.

But no one can deny that jour­nal­ists and news or­ga­ni­za­tions op­er­ate in a new era now. And while the mis­sion of jour­nal­ism mat­ters more than ever to jour­nal­ists and cit­i­zens, it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear that jour­nal­ists no longer have the lux­ury of ig­nor­ing the facts about

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO FILE PHOTO

The Toronto Star re­mains ded­i­cated to qual­ity jour­nal­ism, but un­der­stands the chang­ing news land­scape means it’s more of a busi­ness than ever, pub­lic ed­i­tor Kathy English writes.

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