December 16th, 2008
Seeing the future of journalism, and trying to save it, in Denver
By Ron Sylvester
The Denver Press Club recently invited me to participate in a weekend workshop looking at the future, and the precarious present, of journalism.
Denver Channel 8 taped my presentation and put it online. My wife found it stunning that, 1) anyone would invite me to visit their city to talk about Twitter and 2) broadcast it on TV.
I also got a chance to talk to newsrooms of both the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. I made some great friends. So it especially pained me after I returned home to Kansas and learned this week that the Rocky Mountain News was up for sale. And people these days are hard pressed to buy newspapers.
But the folks at the news have decided to use the new media to help save the old, and some jobs in the process. Check out what they’re doing at IWantMyRocky.com.
We ought to stop thinking of these as newspapers and see them as valuable news organizations: top content providers for Google and Yahoo! that are worth saving, no matter what their platform.
That’s part of the message of the documentary “Stop the Presses,” made by former Dallas reporter Manny Medoza and filmmaker Mark Birnbaum, which I saw for the first time at the Starz Denver Film Festival. The documentary not only skillfully looks at the demise of the American Newspaper but also probes its future and why it’s worth saving.
As one viewer noted: the film interviewed executives of some of the most respected newsrooms in the country and the best business observations in the film come from Dave Barry.
Dave, take the lead. We’re ready to follow.