The fat lady sings for newspapers
To those still hanging on to a shred of hope that print newspapers aren’t finished, renowned investigative reporter Seymour Hersh says wake up, “the game’s over.” But there is hope for investigative journalism, and it just landed in Boston.
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University held a launch ceremony this week. It featured Hersh as keynote speaker. From the BU campus newspaper, which obviously still exists:
Center director Joe Bergantino, well known around Boston for his “I-team” television work, was not shy about articulating the mission: if investigative journalism can’t be fostered, he told the crowd, “it’s not just the end of journalism, it’s the end of democracy. And that’s not an exaggeration.”
Hersh was just as apocalyptic about newspapers. “It’s over,” he said, many times. “The model’s done, the game’s over. Maybe the New York Times will find a way to stay national, but it’s over. . . And maybe the future is the model right here” — a budding collaboration between a university and local media to train independent reporters.
The center’s goal is to produce investigative reports that will be “published and aired by multiple media partners on multiple platforms.” It will also train the “next generation of investigative reporters including students at Boston University and inner-city high schools.”
I’ve been on a couple journalism panels lately, and the sentiment I keep hearing is the one Bergantino expresses — it’s vital that investigative journalism continue despite the death of print newspapers.
Sounds like BU is taking a step in the right direction.
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