The Journalism Firm?

July 18, 2010 • Media Economics • by

A recommendation for journalists: follow the lawyers.

While journalists occasionally serve as the butt of a bad joke or two (ex: What do you get if you cross a sports reporter with a vegetable? A common tater), they’re victimized far less than other professionals, namely lawyers. Even your own sweet grandmother can pull off a “How many lawyers does it take to screw in a lightbulb” zinger.  But don’t get too comfortable, warns Michael Rosenblum, video-journalism expert, because soon journalists might have to start taking notes from their Bluetooth-and-briefcase toting colleagues.

As of the past few years, it’s grown apparent that journalists and media outlets must reorganize significantly, that a new business model must surface. Acknowledging the handful of similarities between those who choose careers in law and those who choose news (both lovers of research, investigation, analysis and presentation), Rosenblum suggests striving for an entrepreneurial union of business and journalism, an ideal which can only be attained through collaboration – the formation of partnerships and collectives.

The difference between lawyers and journalists, says Rosenblum, is the way that they’ve elected to organize their own professions. “Lawyers – while it is true some become employees – tend to organize themselves in partnerships in which they pool their skills and their business,” he says . A “journalism firm” would do the same. A partnership of journalists would contract with various magazines, newspapers, television stations and websites to offer content, just as a law firm offers work. In this way, they would also be insulated from disaster if one newspaper or one magazine were to go under.

For more about the “Journalism Firm” see RosenblumTV.

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