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

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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