12:45-1:35 PM CT: The Future Ecology of Mainstream Journalism, Opportunities and Challenges for Webloggers in:
- Chair: Felix Salmon, 12:45-12:46
- Panelist: Bruce Bartlett, 12:46-12:54
- Panelist: Megan McArdle, 12:54-1:02
- Panelist: Josh Barro, 1:02-1:10
- General discussion, 1:10-1:35
DRAFT INTRO: By now we all know the story of the Mergenthaler Linotype machine. It allows the delivery of classified ads to a mass audience with previously unheard-of economy. But how to get people reading your set of classified ads? Wrap it in interesting news stories. At first the edge was that your news was in the language of your audience or took the political position of your audience. Then, after merger upon merger, regional or class monopoly metropolitan dailies with healthy profit margins created space for journalists to transform themselves from ink-stained wretches and hacks to professionals without bias reporting the view from no political position in particular. And we know the Christensenian disruption now underway. We hope that, somehow, there will emerge space for journalists to make money and have careers while raising debate to a much higher level than in the “opinions of shape of earth differ” days when Jonathan Weisman’s idea of a credible expert on the economy was Donald Luskin. But if this is going to work, those laboring in the trenches of the mainstream media will need—somehow—help from the rest of us. What can they do? What should the rest of us do?. Let me welcome our panel of Josh Barro, Bruce Bartlett, and Megan McArdle.