Wick Communications

The parachute isn’t opening

In journalism on January 18, 2017 at 6:48 pm
Library of Congress

Library of Congress

This week, Josh Stearn’s writes on MediaShift about a concept that is absolutely radical: Cooperation.

In the wake of our recent presidential election, pundits have suggested the fundamental lesson is that media and people on the coast failed to understand the folks in the flyover states. Consequently, the smartest people in the room completely missed the temperature of the country.

That may be true. Here’s what many national news editors got wrong: They then parachuted national journalists into middle America in an attempt to extract the essence in one well-written 50-inch takeout from Bristol, Tenn., or Wahpeton, N.D. or other such places about which they knew nothing.

Stearns argues for a cooperative approach. He notes that journalists like ours in Wick newsrooms know our communities. Rather than sending Mr. Big Name from New York to report from a place like Sierra Vista, Ariz., that news organization would do well to partner with The Herald for a more rich and complete telling from the field. Stearns goes on to mention some such partnerships. …

If you are interested in this concept, you would do well to follow the work of John S. Knight Fellow Heather Bryant. She was a small-town journalist in Alaska who is working on furthering partnerships with rural news outlets.

— Clay

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