Saturday, 2 January 2010

journalism in crisis coalition founding editorial

The Journalism In Crisis Coalition seeks first to gather names to answer concerns like those raised by academics and authors, such as Nick Davies Flat Earth News, above.


Journalism in crisis is the crisis of world crises. 

Voters form basis for democracy. They are not getting enough neutral news to make informed decisions. 

Justice is perverted, world democracy denied.

decades of decline

Journalist numbers have been decimated since Watergate in the 1970s. 

Tens of thousands have lost their job, their profession. 

In the US alone, parent news organisations declined from 85 in 1985 to just five by 2005, institutional investors accelerating journalistic decline by attaching exponential growth expectations, unrealistic in any field as the 2007 global economic meltdown attests, to a public good.

dick spammers

Journalism has blundered beyond doomsday crisis and into the let-them-eat-cake world of nay-sayers like Jeff Jarvis, lauded as a leading commentator on the wildly unsuccessful world journalism in crisis effort from Coventry University, a special site set up and quickly awash with dick spammers.

Apparently, there is more money in advertising sex than reporting truths.

Most focused so far is a report from the Free Press founders, centred around their January 2010 book, The Death and Life of American journalism. This follows on from the equally critical expose of UK press in 2009 by Nick Davies in Flat Earth News

journalism in crisis coalition

Starting here, JICC, the Journalism In Crisis Coalition is an attempt to spark interest in responding to world journalism in crisis and finding solutions, not just debating it.

Starting places are social networks like this blog and Facebook.

First priority: building numbers.

second priority

Anyone online who feels concerned at societal impact of world journalism in crisis can take 30 seconds to tick a fan box. Or comment on this blog. Names and numbers will be used as evidence to support funding applications as a second priority for news media advocacy by sites like this.

Funding applications will take the form of inviting Expressions of Interest in TTT, Total Transparency Tools, registering to charity trust at the bottom of the world, in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Once formally registered, JICC, the Journalism In Crisis Coalition will form the world's first organisation to build audience around this frontline issue. 

crisis networking 

Others will no doubt follow. So far, however, few take the crisis seriously. Only universities have thus far dared to raise the issue, with mainstream media ignoring the debate completely. Only one newspaper in the world has discussed the issue, as a dismissive op-ed column in The Guardian. 

Existing journalism groups are also quiet. 

IFJ, the International Federation of Journalists has a strangely static membership of 600,000 journalists, and has yet to refer to world journalism in crisis. Across the Atlantic, the 25-year-old Paris-based Reporters sans fronti√®res is equally clueless to a growing storm of academic doubt about the state of the world press. Even the usually raucous Aussies steer clear of the phrase in their 2009 State of Press Freedom report, referring five times to the "financial crisis", not once applying the same word to journalism.

enough is enough ...

New Zealand has not had any kind of annual press report since the national journalists association disappeared without trace in 1987.

An attempt in 2007 to revive annual conventions has not survived the initial effort.

Such is the sorry-as state of world journalism, so far past crisis it lacks the resources to report on its own backyard.

solutions focus

First steps first: gathering numbers through Facebook.

Members or "fans" will be able to suggest and vote on future directions for JICC.

Journalism in crisis anywhere is, by definition, a worldwide concern.

. . .

an avaiki trust (unregistered) TTT initiative

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