Me: Joining the Nieman Journalism Lab

Anyone who has followed my posts here for any length of time knows that I’m passionate about the future of journalism, so it gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve joined the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard as a contributing blogger. My posts will be showing up there several times a week, along with the posts of two other journalist/bloggers I’ve come to admire: Tim Windsor, a former online VP at the Baltimore Sun who also blogs at Zero Percent Idle, and former newspaper publisher Martin Langeveld, who also has a personal blog called News After Newspapers. I’d like to thank Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab, for giving me this opportunity.

Here’s the top part of my introductory post:

To many people, this may seem like a terrible time to be a newspaper journalist. After all, newspapers are closing up shop, shutting down their print editions, filing for bankruptcy, and generally sliding deeper and deeper into irrelevance, aren’t they? Well, yes and no. Yes, a major newspaper β€” the Christian Science Monitor β€” recently decided to stop printing a daily edition, and yes, Tribune Co. has filed for bankruptcy, saddled by billions of dollars in debt. Other papers are struggling financially as well, including the venerable New York Times. Does all of this fill me with gloom? Not at all.

And not just because I’m Canadian (although our industry is somewhat healthier). The reality is that I see the upheaval sweeping through our industry as a fundamentally positive force in the long run, as chaotic and painful as it may seem right now. That may not come as much comfort if you are one of the thousands who are losing their jobs at papers across the country, but I believe it is true nonetheless.

(read the rest of this post at the Nieman Journalism Lab blog)

39 thoughts on “Me: Joining the Nieman Journalism Lab

    • Thanks, Rogers. It’s funny you should mention the guy with the rock —
      I must admit that image has occurred to me more than once πŸ™‚

  1. Congrats…

    Glad to see that for someone, the countless red eyed nights born from staring into a giant light source is paying off!!!! (I hope that made sense… hahaha)

    πŸ™‚
    Cheers!

  2. Great news, Mathew. Congratulations! And watch out for that Benton character, I've known him for years and you can never trust a Cajun (even if he does love Canada). πŸ˜‰

  3. Congrats Mathew – well deserved.

    And while it may feel like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill, I would remember the last line of Camus' essay about this story: “The struggle itself…is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

    • Thanks, Shafqat — that's a great point. Although I will note that Camus didn't say that Sisyphus *was* happy, just that we should imagine that he was πŸ™‚

      • OK, you got me on a technicality πŸ˜‰ But the point is that all these challenges in journalism are worthwhile and rewarding. We have to dare to dream big and try different things, and the rest will ultimately fall into place.

  4. Congrats…

    Glad to see that for someone, the countless red eyed nights born from staring into a giant light source is paying off!!!! (I hope that made sense… hahaha)

    πŸ™‚
    Cheers!

  5. Great news, Mathew. Congratulations! And watch out for that Benton character, I've known him for years and you can never trust a Cajun (even if he does love Canada). πŸ˜‰

  6. Congrats Mathew – well deserved.

    And while it may feel like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill, I would remember the last line of Camus' essay about this story: “The struggle itself…is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

  7. Thanks, Shafqat — that's a great point. Although I will note that Camus didn't say that Sisyphus *was* happy, just that we should imagine that he was πŸ™‚

  8. OK, you got me on a technicality πŸ˜‰ But the point is that all these challenges in journalism are worthwhile and rewarding. We have to dare to dream big and try different things, and the rest will ultimately fall into place.

  9. That Benton guy is pretty awful. And he's still secretly angry at the Canadians for that whole 1755 minor-genocide-of-his-ancestors thing. πŸ™‚

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