Don’t let digital dissemination discussion blind you to how the culture of news gathering has changed

We know people read in various media. And we know journalists are in a bit of a panic about how to get paid to produce either short- or long-form pieces. New York Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati’s recent speech focuses on that and even tells the cost to produce a New York Times Magazine cover story ($40,000 and up). I was intrigued by the glimpse at marketing the stories (early release to get the bloggers going in order to drive traffic to both the online and print versions). And while we hear so much emphasis on how online dissemination changes things, Marzorati describes also how the culture of news gathering has changed. Access to public figures is managed and tight. So writers now give us “ordinary people” stories, and stories of health and science. When we focus only on digital transmission, we forget that we operate in a culture that also helps form the news agenda. As editors, we must weigh our total environment. You’ll find the entire speech worth reading. I did.

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