January 30, 2009
If they succeed, and even if they don't, the role of journalism could be at the brink of a fundamental change. Historically, journalists have made their careers breaking news and writing stories - it might not have been a glamorous or luxurious career, but it paid the bills and could be incredibly rewarding in non-monetary ways. If the market moves in the direction of The Printed Blog, journalism could go from a full-time career to a part-time hobby. In the same way that some people work as factory workers by day and rock band members by night, or accountants by day and belly dancers by night, these "new journalists" may become the primary source of information. They may work for little, if any money, because the market simply can't support even modest salaries; they may have any variety of day jobs - writing on their lunch hours and during the evening, because it is simply something they enjoy doing.
The key question is how the "new journalists" would stack up against the traditional journalists they are posed to replace. Can they break stories as efficiently? Can they engage in the same hard-hitting investigative reporting? Will they even get the same respect that journalists have traditionally recieved? or will they be cast aside as and stereotyped as "just bloggers"? Perhaps journalism will develop in an entirely different manner? At this point, only time will tell.