Reports of mainstream journalism’s death overstated?

Google “demise of journalism” or some variation of the idea and those clever little spiders the Google guru’s generate will find nearly a million websites for you to check out. You’ll read about J-schools closing, newspapers struggling and media departments fretting. You’ll get opinions from pundits, professionals, pinheads and prophets.   

There are many opinions but no one really knows what will happen.
This headline from Canada’s Globe & Mail online edition certainly caught my eye: Reports of mainstream media’s death are greatly exaggerated. The article was written by Alex Sévigny, an associate professor in the department of communication studies and multimedia at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
His article starts out, “Mainstream media are supposed to be dying. Bloggers, tweeters and other social media commentators are taking over while so-called legacy media outlets such as The New York Times or The Guardian seem like yesterday’s news. This has been the seductive logic of many stories proclaiming the rise of the citizen journalist and the independent voice. The thing is, it isn’t true.”
He uses the recent multi-thousand-page document dump by WikiLeaks to argue that its founder, Julian Assange, discovered he needed the traditional media to get the story out, therefore the traditional media is not on its way out. He makes some good arguments and a couple of statements I just plain-flat disagree with.

Like many thought-provoking blogs, the comments are at least as interesting as the professor’s point of view and some perhaps even more valid.
What do YOU think?

Who is right in this discussion cannot be determined at this time. As media evolves and as traditional broadcast and print outlets adjust to the changing scene, anything can happen. Don’t count out an industry before it’s had a fair chance to modify its business model and return to profit.
In the meantime, the debate will continue.

Ron Ross is the co-author of Handbook for Citizen Journalists and the co-founder of the National Association of Citizen Journalists. He lives in San Diego, California.