Rafat's one of those young dudes with enough clout to be at a whole bunch of high-profile conferences...and, like a petulant child who's tired of watercress sandwiches and thousand-dollar toy cars, he whines:
where's the entrepreneurship? The Web 2.0 thing, while may have been over hyped, at least has something at the core of it: innovation, on the cheap, and available to all. These are people who believe, and believe me, that's half the battle won. Why is that mentality not coming to journalism, and specifically online journalism? Why isn't more startup culture being encouraged at media companies? Yes, they'll start blogs on their site, but beyond that, what? Why aren't journalists being encouraged to be entrepreneurs, and the other way around? When will we have our version of the young-out-of-school-entrepreneurs amongst us?
Rafat, here's a clue: the entrepreneurs aren't sitting in expensive conferences. We aren't hearing what you or any of the others Up There are saying. We have day jobs or are in grad school for something unrelated to proper journalism. We do "citizen journalism" or "grassroots journalism" or whatever y'all want to call it on our own, in our own time, NOT under the auspices of the local newspaper or something like Backfence.com. We are in the Technorati Long Tail and don't have time for attending conferences, or whining and kvetching and complaining. We aren't all young, wide eyed, and moneyed--we are all ages, races, and creeds. We sometimes even have trouble finding one another. Yet We are articulate and educated and are blogging daily.
We're there Rafat. We have the Passion you talk about. But you, and most of The Press are still up where the Air is Rare and can't see us. And when you find us, you want to find ways to diminish, disparage, and degrade what we are doing. There is no support from established journalists or organizations--only talk of ways of commodifying us and paying us wages that are well below what someone of less talent and more education earns. Come down from your conferences Rafat and check out what The People are up to. There is passion and raw talent far beyond what you will find in a conference.
Get out of the clouds and into the Long Tail. You'll be amazed.
Tags: journalism online media