How will journalism survive the Internet Age?


Chris Ahearn is President, Media at Thomson Reuters. The following is the text of remarks prepared for the Federal Trade Commission’s workshop on how the Internet has affected journalism.

Good afternoon. As I only have a couple of minutes, let me get straight to the point.

First, journalism is not synonymous with newspapers and today the discussion has focused too much on newspapers alone. Second, journalism will do more than survive the Internet Age, it will thrive. It will thrive as creators and publishers embrace the collaborative power of new technologies, retool production and distribution strategies and we stop trying to do everything ourselves.

I agree with Mr. Murdoch that the bold will survive and the timid will fail. However, the newfangled aggregators/curators and the dominant search engines are certainly not the enemy of journalism. Nor are they the salvation. They do not always refrain from doing evil in their pursuit of profit and audience. And they do fail to “do unto others” at times -– some do steal and use complete or near-complete copies of our and other work and use ad networks such as AdSense to unlawfully monetize without sharing.