Journalism ‘industry practices of late’

I really wouldn’t call them something to emulate:

The Famuan student newspaper at Florida A&M University has dropped its print editionin favor of a continuously updated website.” The paper published twice weekly through fall semester, when it transitioned to a weekly.

The staff and faculty adviser proposed the online-only plan as a money-saving scheme. Ann Kimbrough, the dean of the university’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, views it as a “pretty wise decision following industry practices of late – no matter how sad that is.”

When an industry is aggressively pursuing self-immolation in violation of all common sense, you’d hope for more of an educated response from someone whose job it is to educate the next generation of professional bullshit detectors.

Why is it wise to do something if another media organization does it? Why is it wise to follow the conventional wisdom that cutting print will magically lead to the profits that print was not providing? On what is that judgment based? The stunning successes of the nation’s great newspapers of late in attracting customers by insulting those customers, downgrading their product and upping their prices?

I mean, God forfreakingbid you propose another way to go, here, based on study of these issues from an objective standpoint. Then again:

In January 2013, near the start of spring semester, FAMU officials temporarily suspended publication of the Famuan. They also removed the paper’s faculty adviser without much explanation. And they forced the student staff to reapply for their positions and “undergo training in media law and ethics . . . [and] more general journalism principles.”

Shoot me now.

A.

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