If there's one over-reported story making the rounds online, it's the death-of-the-newspaper story. And some months ago, I took a vow that I was done writing on the subject.
But, as Sean Connery once said in a James Bond movie: "Never Say Never." The latest print and online edition of the San Francisco Public Press has printed my latest article about the Sentinel -- "Story of a Survivor: coastal paper maintains civic coverage despite cuts."
The story, actually, is based on a content analysis I did on the Sentinel this spring. As you'll read, my conclusion is that the Sentinel actually is newsier and more concentrated on civic coverage than it was 10 years earlier.
That conclusion contradicts an article that I wrote for the then-Santa Cruz Metro in late 2008 in which I wrongly predicted further erosion of Sentinel reporting. Oh well, I've been wrong before.
With any luck at all, this is my last foray into "state of journalism" stories. There are plenty of people wiser than I about the future. However, I would warn them: most of us are spectacularly wrong when it comes to the future of journalism.
Regarding journalists themselves, I think the smartest comment I've heard comes from John Raess, San Francisco Bureau Chief of the Associated Press: "Journalism is a great business if you're 64 or 24." The implication: some of us oldsters actually have a pension. And the youngsters will have a future in whatever new form of journalism emerges.