My newest project: GRAY AREA, a podcast about justice and redemption.
My latest article, in The Nation.
From Chicago Review Press
Blood in the Fields: Ten years inside California’s Nuestra Familia Gang
Now available from your local independent bookseller or on Barnes and Noble, Powells.Com, and Amazon.
Request a reading or talk in your community to learn about proven solutions to youth violence.
Well, I am a reporter, so like everyone else, I’m following the shrinkage of newspapers with great interest. This essay by Clay Shirky is making the rounds, and says it all (almost):
Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable
A few quotes that resonate:
- “You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!” has never been much of a business model.
- Now is the time for experiments, lots and lots of experiments, each of which will seem as minor at launch as craigslist did, as Wikipedia did, as octavo volumes did.
- Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.
- When we shift our attention from ’save newspapers’ to ’save society’, the imperative changes from ‘preserve the current institutions’ to ‘do whatever works.’
As a long-time Internet geek who’s also a long-time reporter, I found this essay reassured me about journalism in ways most ‘Net fanatics haven’t been able to (As in, no, citizen journalism is not going to save us).