Journalism isn’t dying. But, it’s changing rapidly.
Every day, the news media industry seems to reinvent itself. Business models adapt, sections reorganize, and journalists adjust their focus.
Journalism is a crucial tenet of democracy, holding the powerful accountable for its actions. And, oftentimes, journalism transports readers where they can not, or will not, otherwise go.
MediaFile is a student publication. Our authors are college students struggling to understand the media environment that awaits them upon graduation. We are students who have been told that “news is dying” and “there’s no money in journalism.”
Our writers have a passion for news and for media as a whole. And, we’re committed to figuring out the future of it all.
Journalism is not what it used to be. In 2016, no one medium is king, no outlet is in charge. The gatekeeping effect of the major newspapers, magazines, and broadcast outlets has dissipated.
Smartphone applications buzz relentlessly, email newsletters ping us at five o’clock in the morning, CNN blares in the waiting room, NPR soothes us on a long road trip. VICE transports us to faraway worlds, Vox explains it from A to Z. Yahoo Finance, Digiday, the Daily Beast, ABC, Time, RealClearPolitics, the Washington Post, Jezebel, ESPN, the Star-Tribune, USA Today, and, now, MediaFile.
There’s a lot of news.
At MediaFile, we will try to sift through the headlines. Our headlines are about the headlines, the press releases, the corporate mergers and acquisitions, the social revolution, and the data revolution. Our writing concerns press freedom, access to politicians, exclusives, scoops, leads, and corrections.
We’re students, so, you may ask: who are we to cover journalism and the real-life, full-time, hard-working, practicing, professional journalists, producers, and media executives that make the news happen?
I’d ask, who are we to ignore it?
The media reporting community is small, but important. Outlets such as Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review, and the Nieman Journalism Lab devote their entire breadth of coverage to media. Media reporters at mainstream outlets play a crucial role as well. CNN’s Brian Stelter, Politico’s Hadas Gold, and the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi are just three reporters writing for a more general public that, they trust, is as fascinated by the media as they are.
Media critics and columnists play a crucial role, too: Erik Wemple and Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Post, Jack Shafer at Politico, Jim Rutenberg at the New York Times and, of course, Rutenberg’s remarkable predecessor, the late David Carr.
These reporters, columnists, and critics – along with journalism and communications academics – do the important work upon which MediaFile will contribute. Their work recognizes both the importance of journalism and the inherent power in conveying information to the public.
In that sense, they recognize that while journalism must hold the powerful accountable, we must also hold news organizations and reporters accountable as well.
Just like elected officials, journalists must be representatives of their constituents: their readers.
MediaFile is the only Washington-based news outlet entirely devoted to reporting on the media. While the District is home to so many journalists — many of which are political and national correspondents — we look forward to the opportunity to cover such an important media hotspot.
Though based out of The George Washington University, we are completely independent. We’re editorially independent and financially independent. Our geography is crucial: we are blocks away from the White House, the State Department, and so much more.
We will cover Washington media, as well as national and international outlets as well. We will cover the industry, but also the intersections between media and politics, the international community, and technology.
We want to be as responsive and transparent as possible. So, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s start a conversation and figure this out together.
On behalf of everyone at MediaFile, we are thrilled to get started and we’re ready to get to the important stuff — our reporting.
Scott Nover is the Editor-in-Chief of MediaFile