Journalism Moving Toward Small-Scale, Hard Scoops

Like working in a great big newsroom? Hang on, because the future of professional journalism might be much smaller and nimbler.

Recently on AllThingsD, Kara Swisher interviewed Sharon Waxman of, a startup media-business news venture based in Santa Monica, Calif. employs a half-dozen writers and editors plus several freelancers, supplemented by bloggers and an active community. It's run out of the cottage behind Waxman's home.

Swisher wrote: "Innovative efforts like Sharon Waxman’s might become the rule rather than the exception in the future of the news media. So far, on her own since its launch in late January, is garnering several hundred thousand daily visitors each month, moving close to the Web sites of trade publications that cover the industry."

In that interview, Waxman (who formerly reported for the Washington Post and New York Times) told Swisher:

"I could absolutely not do this at a big media company! I thought the corporate oversight would be the death of anything entrepreneurial -- it takes too long to get decisions made. Big media companies are just trying to survive. It's much easier to start from scratch."

I don't know what journalists are afraid of [with starting entrepreneurial ventures]. The world is crumbling around them, and: Where are you gonna go? We're on a mission to help save journalism. There's a critical need for journalism in all segments of society. -- not just professional journalism, I also welcome citizen journalism. But what professional journalists bring to the table is critical. On the other hand, the pro journalism world has been arrogant, fat, happy, lazy, and expensive for too long."

Thanks to Jack Lail for the tip.

  • Amy Gahran

    Amy Gahran is a conversational media consultant and content strategist based in Boulder, CO. She edits Poynter's group weblog E-Media Tidbits.


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