Changing the rules of the game

I was catching up on some reading over the Christmas weekend and came across a fascinating post over at Reflections of a Newsosaur about Panorama — a fascinating project from McSweeney’s that puts a ton of new journalism out into the world… in print.

But what was just as interesting as the project was the reaction on the blog. Immediately the news pros out there ragged on the effort as “just a magazine” and derided the project’s ability to produce so much (admittedly great) content on a daily basis. Harumph! they cried out.

But thankfully one commenter had the right idea — who says all “real” news has to be daily? Who wrote these rules, and what if they don’t apply anymore, or shouldn’t apply?

Indeed.

If you goal is to change the world (for the better), then you have to… well… change the world. That means some things in your world will change.

Even amidst all the change in the media world, newspaper leaders and supporters would rather dump on an innovative new project on not meeting their imaginary “standards” than consider how they might change to do insanely great journalism. We don’t need daily print publications, we need engaging stories and information that help us solve problems in our lives and communities. Maybe you do that every day, maybe every other day, maybe weekly, monthly — whatever is the right process to fit your economic and storytelling capacity.

The worst thing we can do, if we want to make impacts as public service media companies, is to keep doing what public broadcasters have always done, without modification, without experimentation, without considering the needs of the community today, not the community’s needs from 1979.