Journalism matters, Mark Cuban says

Mark Cuban tells journalism companies how they can get audiences. Hey, Mark, that isn't the problem in journalism. The problem is how do you pay for great journalism?

We're seeing lots of journalists getting laid off. Why? Because the business no longer works. The advertisers are taking their money and moving online. Paying Google and Yahoo and Microsoft and Craigs List and Ebay to do the work that the newspaper ads used to do.

Free journalism only takes us so far. Yeah, using bloggers you'll find out about major news events like earthquakes and fires and when your neighbor gets murdered. Maybe. If there's a blogger nearby who cares.

But you won't get the kind of journalism that local papers used to do. Are there any bloggers out here that sit in city council meetings? That attend shareholder meetings? That build relationships with people at places of power? Yeah, some do, but they are still pretty rare and as Tim O'Reilly learned most of us aren't really here to do journalistic work, but rather to tell the world what we think (the two are different).

I wish I had better answers, though, cause I do agree with Mark Cuban that journalism is important.

Speaking of that, I appreciate it when a publication takes 500 hours and puts our products through its paces like what Tom's Hardware did recently with Windows Vista. Or, ComputerWorld's 20 Things You Won't Like about Windows Vista. Ed Bott pointed me to those. I might not agree with all of the points made there, but I do appreciate that journalists are putting in some serious work taking a look at our products.

I wonder how we can ensure that journalists can continue to get paid for that work?

Carlo goes further and says "Journalism Is Broken." Oh, I agree with his point that opinion matters. I've learned over and over that my audience is smarter than me. Richer than me. More knowledgeable than me. More connected than me. No matter what I say, no matter how well researched it is, it always gets better after an audience hears it and can leave their two cents about it.

Jeff and I were talking about that today. He told me how he learns from the people who show up on Channel 9 and On10.net everyday and how he thinks that any corporate site that doesn't have comments, trackbacks, or ways to interact like a Wiki are just blowing it.

I agree. Where's the newspaper that has open comments on every story like we do on Channel 9 or On10?