Image via WikipediaUSC Annenberg | Prepared remarks from Michael Schudson
This from deep in the piece, his fifth reason for hope.
The new online operations remind us how important is the resource of obsessive, endless, gritty enthusiasm. Yes, somehow there has to be a way for these individuals to pay their bills – ultimately. They don’t have to dine on expense accounts. What they have to do is pursue work that gets their adrenalin going and makes them feel that they are doing something that matters. If they can make money doing this, that’s good for them and that’s good for society and that’s good for democracy. But many worthwhile pursuits endure without a so-called business model. Artists, musicians, dramatists have been doing it for centuries. And so have some journalists, those who set up their alternative weeklies in the sixties, those who worked for political magazines or started vegetarian newsletters or pieced together a living as free-lance foreign correspondents. They lived on a combination of passion and lowered expectations for comfort. With just about everyone I have talked to at the new start-ups, whether twenty-somethings at one of their first jobs or 50-somethings who had been let go or had taken buy-outs. One top editor from a major daily newspaper, now working at Pro Publica, told me she felt she had died and gone to heaven, that she was doing more of the work that had led her to journalism in the first place than at any other time in her career.