The first newspaper rolled off the press in 1605, and journalism enjoyed a successful run in the ensuing four centuries. But the Internet destroyed the Gutenberg economic model, which had been controlled by those who could afford the means of production (printing presses and broadcast stations). The Internet reduced the cost of production to nearly zero. Practically overnight, the power shifted to the innovators (Craigslist, Google, Facebook) and to "the people formerly known as the audience," in media commentator Jay Rosen's words. This talk will tackle the challenges that journalism faces at a time when alternatives to traditional journalism are being created almost daily and indeed the very definition of journalism is in question.
Steve Woodward is a sessional lecturer at UBC's Graduate School of Journalism. He spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Portland, San Francisco, Hartford and Kansas City. He has reported on business, technology, science and medicine, politics and social media. He has won awards for his reporting on priest sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, the Enron Corporation scandal and the Year 2000 computer bug. In 1981, he co-wrote The Kansas City Star's lead story and several other stories about the skywalks collapse that killed 113 people at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel, coverage that would earn the paper the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Local Spot News Coverage. He has been teaching for the past three years, most recently at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.