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The future of journalism? Some GOOD conversations about Tomorrow

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 16:49 EDT
 
["Female Hand Writing" on Shutterstock]

(Apologies for the headline, but I’m a fan of terrible puns.)

In the best case scenario, the journalism profession is undergoing a serious, radical (and maybe long-overdue) makeover. In the worst, as has oft been lamented the last few years, it’s dying off. In either case, it’s fair to say that the traditional gate-keepers of the profession — who are largely white, male, hetero and disproportionately from well-off backgrounds — are increasingly finding themselves out of touch with their readers, technology, the market and the direction this whole enterprise appears to be going.

At Raw Story, we spend a great deal of time thinking about the future of journalism (and, of course, our site and its place in that future). And one thing we’re sure of: the old way of doing things — from trying to force people to read what we think they ought to by failing to publish the alternatives, to looking at the news through only one supposedly-objective lens (which just happens to be white, male, hetero and well-heeled, of course), to blaming disinterested readers rather than uninteresting copy for public apathy — is on its way out.

Which is one reason why (as Andrew Beaujon noted) I put some of my money where my fingers have clicked and backed the Tomorrow Magazine Kickstarter yesterday. Tomorrow is a “a one-shot magazine about creative destruction” helmed by the 8 staffers who were either fired by or quit GOOD in its early June editorial massacre, including former American Prospect deputy editor Ann Friedman.

ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg pointed out in a column this morning that both Tomorrow and The American Prospect recently (successfully) went directly to readers to fund operating and production costs, which helped her (and others) ballpark what it takes to produce a magazine. She said:

But I do think that in our conversations about media consumption and supportable business models, it’s really useful to know what the minimum costs of putting out a magazine like the Prospect or Tomorrow, or a television show like Louie, or a great-sounding album are. The more targets we have, the more we can think creatively about sustainable business models that will help us consistently reach them. It’s one thing to want media to be cheaper. It’s another to suss out how cheap it can actually get, and to make peace with that.

Now, obviously, a Kickstarter that is intended to fund production and distribution costs but not pay the writers and editors who produce content for the magazine (though the Tomorrow-ians say they plan to split excess funds among the contributors) isn’t the only answer to how to fund journalism, or even necessarily a sustainable answer any more than emergency fund drives can work every time there’s a shortfall. But it is, before the magazine even puts out a piece, starting conversations about how to fund interesting journalism in the absence of advertisers. And, for once, those conversations are being started and led by people other than the traditional journalism gatekeepers.

The editorial team behind Tomorrow‘s concept isn’t your typical pale, male and stale group of guys creating new media in the old media’s image. Instead, the folks who want to bring you a magazine about the future of things looks like what we suspect the rest of the media will eventually have to look like if they don’t want an all-male, all-white readership: not all-male, all-white or all-rich.

Not a bad start to the future.

[Full disclosure: I wrote a piece for former GOOD editor Amanda Hess in early 2012.]

["Female Hand Writing" on Shutterstock]

Dear Politico, I want to be just like you

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 14:41 EDT

Dear Politico, All over Twitter today, people are just going on and on about your article bemoaning the “smallness” and “triviality” of this presidential race.  ”Dating to the beginning of the cycle, 2012 has unfolded so far as a grinding, joyless slog,” you wrote, “falling short in every respect of the larger-than-life personalities and debates of the 2008 campaign.” Let me just say that’s mighty rich coming from the people who broke the $400 John…

 

‘Who do they work for?’: Neil Munro, POTUS Interruptus

By Megan Carpentier
Monday, June 18, 2012 15:32 EDT

Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro’s Friday outburst during President Obama’s statement on immigration reform resulted in a ton of press coverage for Munro and his employer (and provided that employer with the site’s highest number unique visitors since April 25, 2012 and its largest number of pageviews since April 9,…

 

A statement from the Executive Editor of Raw Story to Michigan House Republicans

By Megan Carpentier
Thursday, June 14, 2012 15:23 EDT

Vagina Vagina: Vagina vagina vagina vagina: vagina vagina Vagina Vagina; vagina vagina vagina; vagina vagina vagina vagina. Vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina, vagina vagina vagina. Vagina vagina vagina — vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina — vagina vagina vagina vagina, vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina. Vagina…

 

Top 10 songs liberal reporters listen to on Spotify

By Megan Carpentier
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 10:55 EDT

Spotify is creepy. Although you can listen to nearly anything your heart desires, you have to go to some effort to opt out of letting other people know what you’re listening to — and, really, no one needs to know that you just listened to “Call Me Maybe” five times…

 

How to profit off Twitter

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:48 EDT

Phase 1: Tweet Phase 2: ? Phase 3: Profit Just saying. GnomesGet More: SOUTHPARKmore… ["Funny Picture Of The Angry Screaming Gnome. Costume Is Homemade Work." on Shutterstock]…

 

A few thoughts on Glenn Greenwald, ABLC, Raw Story and the nature of political discourse

By Megan Carpentier
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 16:35 EDT

I’ve had a lot of insults hurled at me over my many years of writing on the Internet: in addition to the standard ones that women get related to our perceived attractiveness and concomitant perceived intellect or lack thereof, I’ve been called an Obamabot, a Romney shill, a secret Ron…

 

You are the target of stop-and-frisk, not some mythical ‘other person’

By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 9:00 EDT

In 2011, the New York Police Department stopped and frisked 700,000 people in a city of 8.2 million — that’s about 8.6 percent of the population, if you’re a numbers person — and 87 percent of those people who were stopped were African-American or Latino. About 45 percent of New…

 

Political press ends up soaked in its own filth

By Megan Carpentier
Monday, June 4, 2012 15:19 EDT

This time, it’s not a metaphor. From the aptly-named Billy House of the National Journal: This splash came from an exploding urinal. More specifically, something suddenly broke in the piping of the third-floor urinal, and water began spewing from beneath the men’s room door [in the House Press Gallery]. The…

 

Men are even experts on women in the mainstream media

By Megan Carpentier
Thursday, May 31, 2012 14:36 EDT

It’s no secret that the political news cycle this election has been dominated by women’s issues: from the right’s War on Women to the re-ignition of the Mommy Wars to the right’s declaration that there’s really a war on conservative women, women’s votes are turning into as much of a…

 
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