The portable ‘Post-Industrial Journalism’

Present Generation
Brett Macfarlane outs the uncomfortable truth about the Tow Center’s magnificent “Post-Industrial Journalism” report: It takes a really long time to read!

“As it is an exhaustive look at journalism it is also exhausting to plow one’s way through it,” he writes. It has taken me weeks (though I’ve done some other stuff too during that time…)”

He condensed the report into 1553 words, available as a handy PDF divided into 21 key takeaways. They’re not exactly breezy reads themselves: “The extent to which a journalist now needs to have in-depth knowledge about something other than journalism is increasing. Exposed by the wider availability and quality specialist commentary and knowledge, a deficit in skills in professional journalism is all the more obvious in areas such a economics, science, international affairs and business, the complexity of information and the speed at which people wish to have it explained and contextualized leaves little room for the average generalist,” reads Macfarlane’s condensation No. 5, “T-Shaped Professionals.”

Clay Shirky, one of the co-authors of the report, will do a video chat with Digital First’s Thunderdome project Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.

Previously: ‘Just the facts’ isn’t good enough for journalists anymore, says Tow Center’s journalism manifesto

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  • NateBowman

    “Brett Macfarlane outs the uncomfortable truth about the Tow Center’s magnificent “Post-Industrial Journalism” report: It takes a really long time to read!”

    Yes, Mr. Beaujon.
    Thanks for “outing: that “uncomfortable truth”.
    That should more than make up for callling it magnificent in keeping people from reading it and catering to some people’s limited attention span.

    How about “It is magnificent and well worth the time to read…”

    Instead, let’s not only encourage a Cliff Notes mentality, but also suggest that the Cliff Notes themselves are hard to read.

    And let’s make sure that people know that it took the Cliff Notes compiler two weeks to read a 120-page report. To me, that says more about the reader of the report than the writer. It takes two hours to read 120 pages.