Posted on | November 17, 2010 | 3 Comments
Once David Weigel left the Washington Independent, they were doomed to oblivion:
The crisis in the world of journalism today isn’t really about journalism — it’s about the bottom line. Reporters and editors everywhere are trying to find a way to keep their very good work alive. We thought our model had a chance. It put up a good fight.
Ah, screw you, whiners. And if those losers at Newsweek had been smart enough to hire Dave, they wouldn’t be Tina Brown’s bitches now.
UPDATE: Trying to live down his reputation as the arrogant punk he actually is (NTTAWWT) Weigel gets serious:
The highest-profile examples of non-profit journalism have been investigative reporting hubs . . . which focused on journalism that really was becoming hard to fund privately — investigations that would take weeks to produce news, if they produced any news.
That’s really the trick: If you know anything at all about how investigative journalism actually works, you know that it requires a publisher who is willing to foot the bill while a reporter — or a team of reporters — roots around on a story that may not actually pan out to be anything. Or, as is more often the case, you get one of those long-run-for-a-short-slide affairs: A five-part series that doesn’t really “make a difference,” as they say.
Weigel notes that even basic reporting that used to be commonplace (e.g., when every good-sized daily paper would send a reporter to cover the state legislature when it was in session) has become too much of a financial burden for most newspapers.
I’m grateful that the tip-jar hitters have contributed to the Shoe Leather Fund to cover travel expenses for campaign coverage and other occasional ventures outside the basement. On the other hand, I’m disappointed that no deep-pocketed right-wing Sugar Daddy has offered to pony up the few hundred thousand bucks that would be needed as start-up funding for the R.S. McCain School of Journalism, where young punks would get advanced instruction in such valuable skills as smoking, cussing and driving like a maniac.
In the meantime, then, hit the freaking tip jar.