Photo licensed under Creative Commons by crabchick.
An article in the New York Times a few days ago chronicled the departure of Ezra Klein from the Washington Post to pursue a new web-based journalism website. Klein along with two Post colleagues and other veteran journalists joined together to build Vox.com, which debuted a week ago.
The reason for their departure from a long considered benchmark of journalism to a tech-startup is intriguing: “We were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,” Klein said in the article.
The article added that while Klein considers The Post “an excellent publication, he felt that the conventions of newspaper print journalism in general, with its commitment to incremental daily coverage, were reflected in publishing systems, which need first and foremost to meet the needs of printing a daily paper.”
The Times article noted that Klein and his fellow journalists’ decision to leave The Post was yet “another watershed moment in the news business: a moment when young talent began demanding superior technology as the key to producing superior journalism.”
Furthermore, the article noted that the technology developers at Vox Media “call themselves journalists and work continually with writers and reporters to build the tools they require.”
This article begs several questions to be considered: Where will benchmark news services like The Washington Post and even The New York Times land in the future if their technology systems do not meet the demands of tomorrow’s top-tier journalists? How does this conglomeration of business and media affect the news consumers receive? Where does the term “journalist” begin and end?