What Digital Journalism Needs Is a Hub of Seasoned Editors Who Could Give Advice and Help Solve Problems

By Barnard Law Collier

I tour the web each morning and read world news media in many languages and political stripes. What I find is that the place where well-seasoned editors are currently most missed and missing is among the journalists born in the 80s, 90s, and 00s in nations around the globe, including India and China.

Is it possible for a “young” editor today—in NYC, Mumbai, Hong Kong, or Moscow—to find a hub of seasoned web-based editors of whom to ask questions and present problems for wise and workable solution?

If so, I’ve yet to run across it. If it exists I’d be a steady reader.

Meanwhile, I have spoken with many editors and reporters who are faced with issues that almost every day stokes up their anxiety levels. They are scolded by publishers who are not in the journalism game to speak truth to power. Issues that require wisdom and diplomacy rise up every hour or so and there is no fountain of wisdom to go to.

Thus a lot of time is spent by editors learning by experience, a hard teacher. Why not be able to share the burden of the hardest issues with trustworthy editors?

Can you envision a digital table around which sit the avatars of successful, battle-scarred journalists answering requests from the perplexed and the pot stirrers?

Here are the sorts of current true-to-life problems to expect:

“I am editor and VP of a major state newspaper. Next week I have to fire five more members of my shrinking staff because corporate is cost cutting and goal raising. I am heartsick and cannot bear to see the face of the next team member I must sack. How can I best handle this?”

Or,

“My reporter scares me. She digs too deeply into some things that may get people hurt and killed. How do I let her work but help keep her safe?”

I foresee a site where seasoned editors help guide the future of journalism.

So much for daydreams, I’m headed out for a cup of black coffee and well-seasoned (Bajan pepper sauce) eggs over.

Barney Collier describes himself as cultural anthropologist, writer, former New York Times correspondent and bureau chief, and publisher.

Comments

  1. Richard Mattersdorff says:

    “Stokes up.” Stokes up? As opposed to stoking down? How about plain old “stokes”? Otherwise, good and interesting column! Maybe something can work out, but I suspect services of volunteer retirees will be necessary.

    Texas lawyers have FB groups for swapping legal questions and advice. Don’t journalists?

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